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CICERO, .&TAT. 52, 53, AND 54 .39 

MILO 65 











CAESAR'S DEATH . . . 205 


CICERO'S DEATH .... 279 









INDEX ... 413 



CICERO'S life for the next two years was made conspicuous 
by a series of speeches which were produced by his exile and 
his return. These are remarkable for the praise lavished 
on himself and by the violence with which he attacked 
his enemies. It must be owned that never was abuse 
more abusive, or self-praise uttered in language more 
laudatory. 1 Cicero had now done all that was useful in 
his public life. The great monuments of his literature are 
to come. None of these had as yet been written except a 
small portion of his letters, about a tenth, and of these 
he thought no more in regard to the public than do any 
ordinary letter- writers of to-day. Some poems had been 
produced, and a history of his own Consulship in Greek, 

1 As I shall explain a few pages further on, four of these speeches are 
supposed by late critics to be spurious. 



but these are unknown to us. He had already become 
the greatest orator, perhaps of all time, and we have many 
of the speeches spoken by him. Some we have, those 
five namely, telling the story of Verres, not intended to 
be spoken, but written for the occasion of the day rather 
than with a view to permanent literature. He had been 
Quaestor, (Edile, Praetor and Consul, with singular and un- 
deviating success. He had been honest in the exercise of 
public functions when to be honest was to be singular. He 
had bought golden opinions from all sorts of people. He had 
been true to his country, and useful also, a combination 
which it was given to no other public man of those days to 
achieve. Having been Prsetor and Consul he had refused 
the accustomed rewards and had abstained from the Pro- 
vinces. His speeches with but few exceptions had hitherto 
been made in favour of honesty. They are declamations 
against injustice, against bribery, against cruelty, and all 
on behalf of decent civilised life. Had he died then, he 
would not have become the hero of literature, the marvel 
among men of letters whom the reading world admires ; but 
he would have been a great man and would have saved 
himself from the bitterness of Csesarean tongues. 

His public work was in truth done. His further service 
consisted of the government of Cilicia for a year, an 
employment that was odious to him, though his performance 
of it was a blessing to the province. After that there came 
the vain struggle with Caesar, the attempt to make the best 
of Caesar victorious, the last loud shriek on behalf of the 
Republic ; and then all was over. The fourteen years of 


life which yet remained to him sufficed for erecting that 
literary monument of which I have spoken ; but his public 
usefulness was done. To the reader of his biography it 
will seem that these coming fourteen years will lack much 
of the grace which adorned the last twenty. The biographer 
will be driven to make excuses, which he will not do without 
believing in the truth of them, but doubting much whether 
he may beget belief in others. He thinks that he can see 
the man passing from one form to another, his doubting 
devotion to Pompey, his enforced adherence to Caesar, his 
passionate opposition to Antony, but he can still see him 
true to his country, and ever on the alert against tyranny 
and on behalf of pure patriotism. 

At the present we have to deal with Cicero in no vacil- 
lating spirit ; but loudly exultant and loudly censorious. 
Within the two years following his return he made a series of 
speeches, in all of which we find the altered tone of his mind. 
There is no longer that belief in the ultimate success of jus- 
tice, and ultimate triumph of the Republic which glowed in 
his Verrine and Catiline orations. He is forced to descend 
in his aspirations. It is not whether Eome shall be free, or 
the bench of justice pure ; but whether Cicero shall be avenged 
and Gabinius punished. It may have been right, it was 
right, that Cicero should be avenged and Gabinius punished ; 
but it must be admitted that the subjects are less alluring. 

His first oration, as generally received, was made to the 
Senate in honour of his return. The second was addressed 
to the people on the same subject. The third was spoken 
to the college of priests with the view of recovering the 

B 2 


ground on which his house had stood and which Clodius had 
attempted to alienate for ever by dedicating it to a pretended 
religious purpose. The next, as coming on our list, though 
not so in time, was addressed again to the Senate concerning 
official reports made by the public soothsayers as interpreters 
of occult signs, as to whether certain portents had been sent 
by the gods to show that Cicero ought not to have back his 
house. Before this was made he had defended Sextius, who 
as Tribune had been peculiarly serviceable in assisting his 
return. This was before a bench of judges ; and separated 
from this, though made apparently at the same time, is a 
violent attack upon Vatinius, one of Caesar's creatures, who 
was a witness against Sextius. Then there is a seventh 
regarding the disposition of the Provinces among the 
Pro-Praetors and Pro-Consuls, the object of which was to 
enforce the recall of Piso from Macedonia and Gabinius from 
Syria, and to win Caesar's favour by showing that Caesar 
should be allowed to keep the two Gauls and Illyricum. To 
these must be added two others made within the same 
period, for Ccelius and Balbus. The close friendship between 
Cicero and the young man Ccelius was one of the singular 
details of the orator's life. Balbus was a Spaniard attached 
to Caesar, and remarkable as having been the first man, not 
an Italian, who achieved the honour of the Consulship. 

It has been disputed whether the four first of these 
orations were really the work of Cicero, certain German 
critics and English scholars having declared them to be 
" parum Ciceronias," too little like Cicero. That is the phrase 
used by Nobbe, who published a valuable edition of all 


Cicero's works after the text of Ernesti in a single volume. 
Mr. Long in his introduction to these orations denounces 
them in language so strong as to rob them of all chance of 
absolute acceptance from those who know the accuracy of 
Mr. Long's scholarship. 1 There may probably have been 
subsequent interpolations. The first of the four, however, 
is so closely referred to by Cicero himself in the speech 
made by him two years subsequently in the defence of 
Plancius that the fact of an address to the Senate in the 
praise of those who had assisted him in his return cannot 
be doubted ; and we are expressly told by the orator, that 
because of the importance of the occasion he had written 
it out before he spoke it. 2 As to the Latinity it is not 
within my scope, nor indeed within my power, to express 
a confident opinion; but as to the matter of the speech, 
I think that Cicero, in his then frame of mind, might have 
uttered what is attributed to him. Having said so much 
I shall best continue my narrative by dealing with the 
four speeches as though they were genuine. 

Cicero landed at Brundusium on the 5th August, the 
,, . . day on which his recall from exile had been enacted al- * 

auat. 50. ^ ^ p e0 p} ej an( j ^ere me t hj s daughter Tullia 
who had come to welcome him back to Italy on that her 

1 See Mr. Long's introduction to these orations. "All this I admit," 
says Mr. Long, speaking of some possible disputant. "But he will never 
convince any man of sense that the first of Roman writers, a man of good 
understanding and a master of eloquence, put together such tasteless, feeble, 
and extravagant compositions." 

2 Fro Cu. Plancio, cap. xxx> " Nonne etiam ilia testis est oratio qute est 


birthday. But she had come as a widow, having just lost 
her first husband, Piso Frugi. At this time she was not 
more than nineteen years old. Of Tullia's i'eelings we know 
nothing from her own expressions, as they have not reached 
us ; but from the warmth of her father's love for her, and by 
the closeness of their friendship we are led to imagine 
that the joy of her life depended more on him than on 
any of her three husbands. She did not live long with 
either of them, and died soon after the birth of a child, 
having been divorced from the third. I take it there was 
much of triumph in the meeting, though Piso Frugi had 
died so lately. 

The return of Cicero to Eome was altogether triumphant. 
It must be remembered that the contemporary accounts we 
have had of it are altogether from his own pen. They are 
taken chiefly from the orations I have named above, though 
subsequent allusions to the glory of his return to Eome are 
not -uncommon in his works. But had his boasting not been 
true, the contradictions to them would have been made 
in such a way as to have reached our ears. Plutarch in- 
deed declares that Cicero's account of the glory of his return 
fell short of the truth. 

It may be taken for granted that with that feeble monster, 
the citizen populace of Eome, Cicero had again risen to a 
popularity equal to that which had been bestowed upon 
him when he had just driven Catiline out of Eome. Of 
what nature were the crowds who were thus loud in the 

a me prima habita in Senatu." "Recitetur oratio, quae propter rei magnitu- 
cliuem dicta de scripto est." 


praise of their great Consul, and as loud afterwards in their 
rejoicings at the return of the great exile, we must form our 
own opinion from circumstantial evidence. There was a 
mass of people, with keen ears, taking artistic delight in 
eloquence and in personal graces, but determined to be idle, 
and to be fed as well as amused in their idleness ; and there 
were also vast bands of men ready to fight, bands of 
gladiators they have been called, though it is probable that but 
few of them had ever been trained to the arena, whose 
business it was to shout as well as to fight on behalf of their 
patrons! We shall not be justified in supposing that those 
who on the two occasions named gave their sweet voices 
for Cicero were only the well-ordered though idle proportion 
of the people, whereas they who had voted against him in 
favour of Clodius, had all been assassins, bullies and swords- 
men. We shall probably be nearer the mark if we imagine 
that the citizens generally were actuated by the prevailing 
feelings of their leaders at the moment ; but were carried into 
enthusiasm when enabled, without detriment to their interests, 
to express their feelings for one who was in truth popular 
with them. When Cicero after the death of the five con- 
spirators declared that the men " had lived," " vixerunt," 
his own power was sufficient to ensure the people that 
they would be safe in praising him. When he came back 
to Rome, Pompey had been urgent for his return and Csesar 
had acceded to it. When the bill was passed for banishing 
him, the Triumvirate had been against him, and Clodius 
had been able to hound on his crew. But Milo also had 
a crew, and Milo was Cicero's friend. As the Clodian crew 


helped to drive Cicero from Eome, so did Milo's crew help 
to bring him back again. 

Cicero on reaching Eome went at once to the Capitol, to the 
Temple of Jupiter, and there returned thanks for the great 
thing that had been done for him. He was accompanied by 
a vast procession who from the temple went with him to his 
brother's house, where he met his wife, and where he resided 
for a time. His own house in the close neighbourhood had 
been destroyed. He reached Eome on the 4th of September 
and on the 5th an opportunity was given to the then hero 
of the day for expressing his thanks to the Senate for what 
they had done for him. His intellect had not grown rusty 
in Macedonia, though he had been idle. On the 5th Cicero 
spoke to the Senate, on the 6th to the people. Before the 
end of the month he made a much longer speech to the 
priests in defence of his own property. Out of the full heart 
the mouth speaks, and his heart was very full of the subject. 

His first object was to thank the Senate and the lead- 
ing members of it for their goodness to him. The glowing 
language in which this is done goes against the grain with 
us when we read continuously the events of his life as told 
by himself. His last grievous words had been expressions of 
despair addressed to Atticus. Now he breaks out into a psean 
of triumph. We have to remember that eight months had 
intervened, and that the time had sufficed to turn darkness 
into light. " If I cannot thank you as I ought, Conscript 
Fathers, for the undying favours which you have conferred on 
me, on my brother, and my children, ascribe it, I beseech 
you, to the greatness of the things you have done for me, 


and not to the defect of my virtue." Then he praises the 
two Consuls, naming them, Lentulus and Metellus, Metellus 
as the reader will remember having till lately been his 
enemy. He lauds the Praetors and the Tribunes, two of 
the latter members having opposed his return. But he is 
loudest in praise of Pompey that " Sampsiceramus " that 
" Hierosolymarius " that "Arabarches" into whose character 
he had seen so clearly when writing from Macedonia to 
Atticus, that " On. Pompey who by his valour, his glory, his 
achievements stands conspicuously the first, of all nations, of all 
ages, of all history." "We cannot but be angry when we read 
the words though we may understand how well he understood 
that he was impotent to do anything for the Eepublic unless 
he could bring such a man as Pompey to act with him. We 
must remember too how impossible it was that one Eoman 
should rise above the falsehood common to Eomans. We 
cannot ourselves always escape even yet from the atmosphere 
of duplicity in which policy delights. He describes the state 
of Borne in his absence. " When I was gone you," you, the 
Senate, " could decree nothing for your citizens, or for your 
allies, or for the dependent kings. The judges could give no 
judgment ; the people could not record their votes ; the 
Senate availed nothing by its authority. You saw only a 
silent forum, a speechless Senate-house, a city dumb and 
deserted." We may suppose that Borne was what Cicero 
described it to be when he was in exile and Caesar had gone 
to his Provinces; but its condition had been the result of 
the crushing tyranny of the Triumvirate rather than of 
Cicero's absence. 


Lentulus the present Consul had been, he says, a second 
father, almost a god to him. But he would not have needed 
the hand of a Consul to raise him from the ground, had he 
not been wounded by consular hands. Catulus, one of Home's 
best citizens, had told him that though Eome had now and 
again suffered from a bad Consul, she had never before been 
afflicted by two together. While there was one Consul 
worthy of the name, Catulus had declared that Cicero 
would be safe. But there had come two, two together, whose 
spirits had been so narrow, so low, so depraved, so burdened 
with greed and ignorance "that they had been unable to 
comprehend, much less to sustain the splendour of the name 
of Consul. Not Consuls were they, but buyers and sellers 
of provinces." These were Piso and Gabinius of whom the 
former was now governor of Macedonia and the latter of 
Syria. Cicero's scorn against these men, who as Consuls had 
permitted his exile, became a passion with him. His sub- 
sequent hatred of Antony was not as bitter. He had come 
there to thank the assembled Senators for their care of him, 
but he is carried off so violently by his anger that he devotes 
a considerable portion of his speech to these indignant 
utterances. The reader does not regret it. Abuse makes 
better reading than praise, has a stronger vitality, and seems, 
alas, to come more thoroughly from the heart ! Those who 
think that genuine invective has its charms would ill spare 
Piso and Gabinius. 

He goes back to his eulogy and names various Praetors and 
officers who have worked on his behalf. Then he declares 
that by the voice of the present Consul, Lentulus, a decree 


has been passed in liis favour more glorious than has been 
awarded to any other single Eoman citizen ; namely that 
from all Italy those who wished well to their country should 
be collected together for the purpose of bringing him back 
from his banishment, him Cicero. There is much in this 
in praise of Lentulus, but more in praise of Cicero. Through- 
out these orations we feel that Cicero is put forward as the 
hero, whereas Piso and Gabinius are the demons of the piece. 
" What could I leave as a richer legacy to my posterity," he 
goes on to say, opening another clause of his speech, "than 
that the Senate should have decreed, that the citizen who had 
not come forward in my defence was one regardless of the 
Kepublic." By these boastings, though he was at the moment 
at the top of the ladder of popularity, he was offending the 
self-importance of all around him. He was offending 
especially Pompey with whom it was his fate to have to 
act. 1 But that was little to the offence he was giving to 
those who were to come many centuries after him, who 
would not look into the matter with sufficient accuracy to 
find that his vanity deserved forgiveness, because of his 
humanity and desire for progress. " Lentulus," he says 
at the end of the oration, "since I am restored to the 
Eepublic as with me the Eepublic is itself restored, I will 
slacken nothing in my efforts at liberty ; but if it may be 
possible, will add something to my energy." In translating 

1 Quintillian, lib. xi. cap. 1, who as a critic worshipped Cicero, has never- 
theless told us very plainly what had been up to his time the feeling of 
the Roman world as to Cicero's self-praise. "Eeprehensus est in hac parte 
non mediocriter Cicero." 


a word here and there as I have done, I feel at every 
expression my incapacity. There is no such thing as good 
translation. If you wish to drink the water with its life 
and vigour in it, you must go to the fountain and drink it 

On the day following he made a similar speech to the 
people, if indeed the speech we have was 'from his mouth 
or his pen, as to which it has been remarked that in it he 
made no allusion to Clodius though he was as bitter as ever 
against the late Consuls. From this we may gather that 
though his audience was delighted to hear him even in his 
self-praise, there might have been dispute had he spoken 
ill of one who had been popular as Tribune. His praise 
of Pompey was almost more fulsome than that of the day 
before, and the same may be said of his self-glorification. 
Of his brother's devotion to him he speaks in touching words, 
but in words which make us remember how untrue to him 
afterwards was that very brother. There are phrases so 
magnificent throughout this short piece that they obtain from 
us, as they are read, forgiveness for the writer's faults. "Sic 
ulciscar facinorum singula." Let the reader of Latin turn 
to Chapter IX of the oration and see how the speaker declares 
that he will avenge himself against the evildoers whom he 
has denounced. 

Cicero though he had returned triumphant had come back 
ruined in purse, except so far as he could depend on the 
Senate and the people for reimbursing to him the losses to 
which he had been subjected. The decree of the Senate had 
declared that his goods should be returned to him, but the 


validity of such a promise would depend on the value which 
might be put upon the goods in question. His house on the 
Palatine Hill had been rased to the ground. His Tusculan and 
Formian villas had been destroyed. His books, his pictures, 
his marble columns, his very trees had been stolen. But 
worst of all, an attempt had been made to deprive him for 
ever of the choicest spot of ground in all the city, the Park 
Lane of Rome, by devoting the space which had belonged to 
him to the service of one of the gods. Clodius had caused 
something of a temple to Liberty to be built there, because 
ground so consecrated was deemed at Eome, as with us, to 
be devoted by consecration to the perpetual service of Re- 
ligion. It was with the view of contesting this point that 
Cicero made his next speech, "Pro Domo Sua," for the 
recovery of his house, before the Bench of priests in Rome. 
It was for the priests to decide this question. The Senate 
could decree the restitution of property generally ; but it was 
necessary that that spot of ground should be liberated from 
the thraldom of sacerdotal tenure by sacerdotal interference. 
These priests were all men of high birth and distinction in 
the Republic. Nineteen among them were " Consulares," or 
past Consuls. Superstitious awe affects more lightly the 
consciences of priests than the hearts of those who trust the 
priests for their guidance. Familiarity does breed contempt. 
Cicero in making this speech probably felt that if he could 
carry the people with him the College of Priests would not 
hold the prey with grasping hands. The nineteen Consulares 
would care little for the sanctity of the ground if they could 
be brought to wish well to Cicero. He did his best. He 


wrote to Atticus concerning it a few days after the speech 
was made, and declared, that if he had ever spoken well on 
any occasion he had done so then, so deep had heen his grief, 
and so great the importance of the occasion, 1 and he at once 
informs his friend of the decision of the Bench and of the 
ground on which it was based. " If he who declares that he 
dedicated the ground had not been appointed to that business 
by the people, nor had been expressly commanded by the 
people to do it, then that spot of ground can be restored 
without any breach of religion." Cicero asserts that he was 
at once congratulated on having gained his cause, the world 
knowing very well that no such authority had been conferred 
on Clodius. In the present mood of Eome, all the priests, 
with the nineteen Consulares, were no doubt willing that 
Cicero should have back his ground. The Senate had to 
interpret the decision, and on the discussion of the question 
among them Clodius endeavoured to talk against time. 
When, however, he had spoken for three hours he allowed 
himself to be coughed down. It may be seen that in some 
respects even Eoman fortitude has been excelled in our days. 
In the first portion of this speech, " Pro Domo Sua," Cicero 
devotes himself to a matter which has no bearing on his house. 
Concomitant with Cicero's return there had come a famine 
in Eome. Such a calamity was of frequent occurrence, 
though I doubt whether their famines ever led to mortality 

1 Ad. Att. lib. iv. 2. He recommends that the speech should be put into 
the hands of all young men, and thus gives further proof that we still here 
have his own words. When so nmch has come to xis we cannot but think 
that an oration so prepared would remain extant. 


so frightful as that which desolated Ireland just before the 
repeal of the Corn Laws. No records as far as I am aware 
have reached us of men perishing in the streets. But scarcity 
was not uncommon, and on such occasions, complaints would 
become very loud. The feeding of the people was a matter of 
great difficulty and subject to various chances. "We do not at 
all know what was the number to be fed, including the free 
and the slaves, but have been led by surmises to suppose 
that it was under a million even in the time of Augustus. 
But even though the number was no more than 500,000, at 
this time, the procuring of food must have been a compli- 
cated and difficult matter. It was not produced in the 
country. It was imported chiefly from Sicily and Africa, 
and was plentiful or the reverse, not only in accordance 
with the seasons, but as certain officers of state were diligent 
and honest, or fraudulent and rapacious. We know from one 
of the Verrine orations the nature of the laws on the subject ; 
but cannot but marvel that even with the assistance of such 
laws the supply could be maintained with any fair proportion 
to the demand. The people looked to the government for 
the supply, and when it fell short would make their troubles 
known with seditious grumblings, which would occasionally 
assume the guise of insurrection. At this period of Cicero's 
return food had become scarce and dear, and Clodius, who 
was now in arms against Pompey as well as against Cicero, 
caused it to be believed that the strangers flocking into Home 
to welcome Cicero had eaten up the food which should have 
filled the bellies of the people. An idea further from truth 
could hardly have been entertained. No chance influx of 


visitors on such a population could have had the supposed 
effect. But the idea was spread abroad, and it was necessary 
that something should be done to quiet the minds of the 
populace. Pompey had hitherto been the resource in state 
difficulties. Pompey had scattered the pirates, who seem 
however at this period to have been gathering ahead again. 
Pompey had conquered Mithridates. Let Pompey have a 
commission to find food for Rome. Pompey himself enter- 
tained the idea of a commission which should for a time 
give him almost unlimited power. Caesar was increasing 
his legions and becoming dominant in the West. Pompey, 
who stOl thought himself the bigger man of the two, felt 
the necessity of some great step in rivalry of Caesar. The 
proposal made on his behalf was that all the treasure 
belonging to the State should be placed at his disposal, 
that he should have an army and a fleet, and should be for 
five years superior in authority to every Pro-Consul in his 
own Province. This was the first great struggle made by 
Pompey to strangle the growing power of Csesar. It failed 
altogether. 1 The fear of Caesar had already become too great 
in the bosoms of Roman Senators to permit them to attempt 
to crush him in his absence. But a mitigated law was 
passed enjoining Pompey to provide the food required, and 
conferring upon him certain powers. Cicero was nomi- 
nated as his first lieutenant, and accepted the position. 
He never acted, however, giving it up to his brother Quintus- 
A speech which he made to the people on the passing of 

1 I had better perhaps refer my readers to book v. chap. viii. of Mommsen's 


the law is not extant; but as there was hot blood about it 
in Rome he took the opportunity of justifying the appoint- 
ment of Pompey in the earlier portion of this oration to the 
priests. It must be understood that he did not lend his 
aid towards giving those greater powers which Pompey 
was anxious to obtain. His trust in Pompey had never been 
a perfect trust since the first days of the Triumvirate. To 
Cicero's thinking both Pompey and Caesar were conspirators 
against the Eepublic. Caesar was the bolder and therefore the 
more dangerous. It might probably come to pass that the 
services of Pompey would be needed for restraining Caesar. 
Pompey naturally belonged to the " optimates," while Caesar 
was as naturally a conspirator. But there never again could 
come a time in which Cicero would willingly intrust Pompey 
with such power as was given to him nine years before by the 
Lex jyTanilia. Nevertheless he could still say grand things 
in praise of Pompey. "To Pompey have been intrusted 
wars without number, wars most dangerous to the State, 
wars by sea and wars by land, wars extraordinary in their 
nature. If there be a man who regrets that this has been 
done, that man must regret the victories which Rome has 
won." But his abuse of Clodius is infinitely stronger than 
his praise of Pompey. In the passages in which he alludes 
to the sister of Clodius I must refer the reader to the speech 
itself. It is impossible here to translate them or to describe 
them. And these words were spoken before the College of 
Priests, of whom nineteen were Consulars ! And they were 
prepared with such care that Cicero specially boasted of them 
to Atticus ; and declares that they should be put into the 
VOL. n. c 


hands of all young orators. Montesquieu says that the 
Roman legislators in establishing their religion had no view 
of using it for the improvement of manners or of morals. 1 
The nature of their rites and ceremonies give us evidence 
enough that it was so. If further testimony were wanting 
it might be found in this address " Ad Pontifices." Cicero 
himself was a man of singularly clean life as a Roman noble- 
man, but in abusing his enemy he was restrained by no 
sense of what we consider the decency of language. 

He argues the question as to his house very well, as he did 
all questions. He tells the priests that the whole joy of his 
restoration must depend on their decision. Citizens who had 
hitherto been made subject to such penalties had been 
malefactors ; whereas, it was acknowledged of him that he 
had been a benefactor to the city. Clodius had set up on 
the spot, not a statue of Liberty, but, as was well known to 
all men, the figure of a Greek prostitute. The priests had 
not been consulted. The people had not ratified the pro- 
posed consecration. Of the necessity of such authority he 
gives various examples. " And this has been done," he 
says, " by an impure and impious enemy of all religions, 
by this man among women, and women among men, who 
has gone through the ceremony so hurriedly, so violently, 
that his mind and his tongue and his voice have been equally 
inconsistent with each other." " My fortune," he says, as he 
ends his speech, " all moderate as it is, will suffice for me. 

1 " Politique des Remains dans la religion, "a treatise which was read by 
its author to certain students at Bordeaux. It was intended as a preface to a 
longer work. 


The memory of my name will be a patrimony sufficient for 
my children ; " but if his house be so taken from him, so stolen, 
so falsely dedicated to religion, he cannot live without disgrace. 
Of course he got back his house ; and with his house about 
16,000 for its re-erection ; and 4,000 for the damage done 
to the Tusculan Villa, with 2,000 for the Formian Villa. 
With these sums he was not contented ; and indeed they could 
hardly have represented fairly the immense injury done to him. 
So ended the work of the year of his return. From the 
BC 5 g following year, besides the speeches, we have 
aetat. 51. twenty-six letters, of which nine were written to 
Lentulus, the late Consul, who had now gone to Cilicia as 
Pro-Consul. Lentulus had befriended him, and he found it 
necessary to show his gratitude by a continued correspondence 
and by a close attendance to the interests of the absent officer. 
These letters are full of details of Eoman politics, too intricate 
for such a work as this, perhaps I might almost say too un- 
interesting, as they refer specially to Lentulus himself. In 
one of them he tells his friend that he has at last been 
able to secure the friendship of Pompey for him. It was 
after all but a show of friendship. He has supped with 
Pompey, and says, that when he talks to Pompey every- 
thing seems to go well. No one can be more gracious than 
Pompey. But when he sees the friends by whom Pompey is 
surrounded he knows, as all others know, that the affair is 
in truth going just as he would not have it. 1 We feel as we 
read these letters in which Pompey's name is continually 

1 Ad Div. lib. i. 2. 

C 2 


before us how much Pompey prevailed by his personal ap- 
pearance, by his power of saying gracious things, and then 
again by his power of holding his tongue. " You know the 
slowness of the man," he says to Lentulus, " and his silence." 1 
A slow, cautious hypocritical man, who knew well how to 
use the allurements of personal manners ! These letters to 
Lentulus are full of flattery. 

There are five letters to his brother Quintus, dealing with the 
politics of the time, especially with the then king of Egypt 
who was to be, or was not to be restored. From all these 
things, however, I endeavour to abstain as much as possible, 
as matters not peculiarly affecting the character of Cicero. 
He gives his brother an account of the doings in the Senate, 
which is interesting as showing us how that august assembly 
conducted itself. While Pompey was speaking with much 
dignity Clodius and his supporters in vain struggled with 
shouts and cries to put him down. At noon Pompey sat down 
and Clodius got possession of the rostra, and in the middle of 
a violent tumult remained on his feet for two hours. Then, 
on Pompey's side, the "optimates" sang indecent songs, 
" versus obscenissimi " in reference to Clodius and his sister 
Clodia. Clodius, rising in his anger, demanded, " Who had 
brought the famine ? " " Pompey," shouted the Clodians 
" Who wanted to go to Egypt ? " demanded Clodius. 
" Pompey," again shouted his followers. After that, at three 
o'clock, at a given signal, they began to spit upon their op- 
ponents. Then there was a fight in which each party tried 

1 Ad Div. lib. 1, 5. "Nosti honriiiis tarditatem, et taciturnitatem." 


to drive the others out. The " optimates " were getting the 
best of it, when Cicero thought it as well to run off lest he 
should be hurt in the tumult. 1 What hope could there be 
for an oligarchy when such things occurred in the Senate ? 
Cicero in this letter speaks complacently of resisting force 
by force in the city. Even Cato, the law-abiding precise 
Cato, thought it necessary to fall into the fashion and go 
about Eome with an armed following. He bought a company 
of gladiators and circus-men ; but was obliged to sell them, 
as Cicero tells his brother with glee, because he could not 
afford to feed them. 2 

There are seven letters also to Atticus, always more in- 
teresting than any of the others. There is in these the most 
perfect good feeling, so that we may know that the com- 
plaints made by him in his exile had had no effect of estrang- 
ing his friend. And we learn from them his real innermost 
thoughts, as they are not given even to his brother; as 
thoughts have surely seldom been confided by one man of 
action to another. Atticus had complained that he had not 
been allowed to see a certain letter which Cicero had written 
to Caesar. This he had called a naKivwbla, or recantation, and 
it had been addressed to Csesar with the view of professing a 
withdrawal to some extent of his opposition to the Trium- 
virate. It had been of sufficient moment to be talked 
about. Atticus had heard of it and had complained that it 
had not been sent to him. Cicero puts forward his excuses, 
and then bursts out with the real truth. " Why should I 

1 Ad Quintum fratrem, lib. ii. 3. 2 Ibid. lib. ii. 6. 


nibble round the unpalatable morsel which has to be 
swallowed ? " The recantation had seemed to himself to be 
almost base, and he had been ashamed of it. " But," says 
he, " farewell to all true, upright, honest policy. You could 
hardly believe what treachery there is in those who ought to 
be our leading men, and who would be so if there was any 
truth in them." 1 He does not rely upon those who, if they 
were true to their party, would enable the party to stand 
firmly even against Caesar. Therefore it becomes necessary 
for him to truckle to Caesar, not for himself but for his party. 
Unsupported he cannot stand in open hostility to Caesar. He 
truckles. He writes to Csesar, singing Caesar's praises. It is 
for the party rather than for himself, but yet he is ashamed 
of it. 

There is a letter to Lucceius, an historian of the day then 
much thought of, of whom however our later world has 
heard nothing. Lucceius is writing chronicles of the time 
and Cicero boldly demands to be praised. " Ut ornes mea 
postulem," 2 " I ask you to praise me." But he becomes 
much bolder than that. " Again and again I beseech you, 
without any beating about the bush, to speak more highly of 
me than you perhaps think that I deserve, even though 
in doing so you abandon all the laws of history." Then he 
uses beautiful flattery to his correspondent. Alexander had 
wished to be painted only by Apelles. He desires to be 
praised by none but Lucceius. Lucceius, we are told, did 
as he was asked. 

1 Ad Att. lib. iv. 5. 8 Ad Div. lib. v. 12, 


I will return to the speeches of the period to which this 
B c 56 chapter is devoted, taking that first which he made 
setat. 51. f. Q tk e g ena t e as to the report of the Soothsayers 
respecting certain prodigies. Readers familiar with Livy will 
rememher how frequently, in time of disaster, the anger of 
Heaven was supposed to have been shown by signs and 
miracles, indications that the gods were displeased and that 
expiations were necessary. 1 The superstition, as is the fate 
of all superstitions, had frequently been used for most ungod- 
like purposes. If a man had a political enemy what could 
do him better service than to make the populace believe that 
a house had been crushed by a thunderbolt, or that a woman 
had given birth to a pig instead of a child, because Jupiter 
had been offended by that enemy's devices ? By using such 

1 Very early in the history of Rome it was found expedient to steal an 
Etruscan soothsayer for the reading of these riddles, which was gallantly 
done by a young soldier who ran off with an old prophet in his arms. (Livy, 
v. 15.) "We are naively told by the historian that the more the prodigies 
came the more they were believed. On a certain occasion a crowd of them 
was brought together. Crows built in the temple of Juno. A green tree took 
fire. The waters of Mantua became bloody. In one place it rained chalk, 
in another fire. Lightning was very destructive, striking the temple of a 
god or a nut-tree by the roadside indifferently. An ox spoke in Sicily. A 
precocious baby cried out " lo triumphe " before it was born. At Spoletum a 
woman became a man. An altar was seen in the heavens. A ghostly band 
of armed men appeared in the Janiculum. (Livy, xxiv. 10.) On such occa- 
sions the " aruspices " always ordered a vast slaughter of victims, and no 
doubt feasted as did the wicked sons of Eli. 

Even Horace wrote as though he believed in the anger of the gods, 
certainly as though he thought that public morals would be improved by 
renewed attention to them. 

"Delicta majorum immeritus lues, 
Bomane, donee templa refeceris." Od. lib. iii. 6. 


a plea the Grecians got into Troy, together with the wooden 
horse, many years ago. The Scotch worshippers of the 
Sabbath declared the other day, when the bridge over the 
Tay was blown away, that the Lord had interposed to 
prevent travelling on Sunday ! 

Cicero had not been long back from his exile when the 
gods began to show their anger. A statue of Juno twisted 
itself half round ; a wolf had been seen in the city ; three 
citizens were struck with lightning; arms were heard to 
clang, and then wide subterranean noises. Nothing was 
easier than the preparation and continuing of such portents. 
For many years past the heavens above and the earth 
beneath had been put into requisition for prodigies. 1 The 
soothsayers were always well pleased to declare that there 
had been some neglect of the gods. It is in the nature of 
things that the superstitious tendencies of mankind shall 
fall a prey to priestcraft. The quarrels between Cicero and 
Clodius were as full of Hfe as ever. In this year, Clodius 
being ^Edile, there had come on debates as to a law passed 
by Caesar as consul, in opposition to Bibulus, for the distri- 
bution of lands among the citizens. There was a question 
as to a certain tax which was to be levied on these lands. 
The taxgatherers were supported by Cicero and denounced 
by Clodius. Then Clodius and his friends found out that 
the gods were showering their anger down upon the city 
because the ground on which Cicero's house had once stood 
was being desecrated by its re-erection. An appeal was 

3 See the Preface by M. Guerault to his translation of this oration, "De 
Aruspicum Kesponsis." 


made to the soothsayers. They reported and Cicero rejoined. 
The soothsayers had of course been mysterious and doubt- 
ful. Cicero first shows that the devotion of his ground to 
sacred purposes had been an absurdity, and then he declares 
that the gods are angry, not with him, but with Clodius. To 
say that the gods were not angry at all was more than Cicero 
dared. The piece taken as a morsel of declamatory art 
is full of vigour, is powerful in invective and carries us 
along in full agreement with the orator ; but at the con- 
clusion we are led to wish that Cicero could have employed 
his intellect on higher matters. 

There are, however, one or two passages which draw 
the reader into deep mental inquiry as to the religious 
feelings of the time. In one, which might have been written 
by Paley, Cicero declares his belief in the creative power 
of some god, or gods as he calls them. 1 And we see also 
the perverse dealings of the Romans with these gods, dealings 
which were very troublesome, not to be got over except 
by stratagem. The gods were made use of by one party 
and the other for dishonest state purposes. When Cicero 
tells his hearers what the gods intended to signify by 
making noises in the sky and other divine voices, we feel 
sure that he was either hoaxing them who heard him, or 
saying what he knew they would not believe. 
B c 66 Previous to the speech as to the " aruspices," he 
setat. 51. k a( j d e f en( j e (i g ex tius, or Sestius as he is frequently 

1 Ca. ix. "Who is there so mad that when he looks up to the heavens, he 
does not acknowledge that there are gods, or dares to think that the things 
which he sees have sprung from chance, things so wonderful that the most 
intelligent among us do not understand their motions ? " 


called, on a charge brought against him by Clodius in 
respect of violence. We at once think of the commonplace 
from Juvenal ; 

" Quis tulerit Graccchos de seditione querentes." 

But Rome without remonstrating, put up with any absurdity 
of that kind. Sextius and Milo and others had been joined 
together in opposing the election of Clodius as ^dile, and 
had probably met violence with violence. As surely as an 
English master of hounds has grooms and whips ready at 
his command, Milo had a band of bullies prepared for 
violence. Clodius himself had 'brought an action against 
Milo who was defended by Pompey in person. The case 
against Sextius was intrusted to Albinovamis, and Hortensius 
undertook the defence. Sextius before had been one of the 
most forward in obtaining the return of Cicero, and had 
travelled into Gaul to see Ceesar and to procure Caesar's 
assent. Caesar had not then assented ; but not the less 
great had been the favour conferred by Sextius on Cicero. 
Cicero had been grateful, but it seems that Sextius had 
thought not sufficiently grateful. Hence there had grown 
up something of a quarrel. But Cicero when he heard of 
the proceeding against his old friend at once offered his 
assistance. For a Roman to have more than one counsel 
to plead for him. was as common as for an Englishman. 
Cicero was therefore added to Hortensius, and the two 
great advocates of the day spoke on the same side. We 
are told that Hortensius managed the evidence, showing, 
probably, that Clodius struck the first blow. Cicero then 
addressed the judges with the object of gaining their favour 


for the accused. In this he was successful, and Sextius 
was acquitted. As regards Sextius and his quarrel with 
Clodius, the oration has but little interest for us. 
There is not indeed much ahout Sextius in it. It is a 
continuation of the psean which Cicero was still singing as 
to his own return, but it is distinguished from his former 
utterances by finer thought and finer language. The de- 
scription of public virtue as displayed by Cato has perhaps 
in regard to melody of words and grandeur of sentiment 
never been beaten. I give the orator's words below in his 
own language, because in no other way can any idea of the 
sound be conveyed. 1 There is too a definition made very 
cleverly to suit his own point of view between the Con- 
servatives and the Liberals of the day. " Optimates," is the 
name by which the former are known. The latter are 
called '' Populares." 2 

Attached to this speech for Sextius is a declamation 
against Vatinius, who was one of the witnesses employed 
by the prosecutor. Instead of examining this witness 

1 Ca. xxviii. " Qu in tempestate sseva quieta est, et lucet in tenebris, et 
pulsa loco manet tamen, atque hseret in patria, splendetque per se semper, 
neque alienis unquam sordibus obsolescit." I regard this as a perfect allocution 
of words in regard to the arrangement both for the ear and for the intellect. 

2 Ca. xliv. ' ' There have always been two kinds of men who have busied 
themselves in the State and have struggled to be, each, the most prominent. 
Of these, one set have endeavoured to be regarded as ' populares, ' friends of 
the people, the other to be and to be considered, as 'optimates,' the most 
trustworthy. They who did -and said what could please the people were 
'populares,' but they who so -carried themselves as to satisfy every best 
citizen ; they were 'optimates.' " Cicero in his definition no doubt begs tha 
question ; but to do so was his object. 


regularly he talked him down by a serarate oration. We 
have no other instance of such a forensic manoeuvre either 
in Cicero's practice or in our accounts of the doings of other 
Eoman advocates. This has reached us as a separate oration. 
It is a coarse tirade of abuse against a man whom we 
believe to have been bad, but as to whom we feel that we 
are not justified in supposing that we can get his true 
character here. He was a creature of Caesar's, and Cicero 
was able to say words as to Vatinius which he was unwilling 
to speak as to Caesar arid his doings. It must be added here 
that two years later Cicero pleaded for this very Vatinius, 
at the joint request of Csesar and Pompey, when Vatinius 
on leaving the prsetorship was accused of corruption. 

The nature of the reward to which the aspiring oligarch 
of Rome always turned his eyes has been sufficiently ex- 
plained. He looked to be the governor of a province. At 
this period of which we are speaking there was no reticence 
in the matter. Syria, or Macedonia, or Hispania had been 
the prizes; or Sicily, or Sardinia. It was quite under- 
stood that an aspiring oligarch went through the dust and 
danger and expense of political life in order that at last 
he might fill his coffers with provincial plunder. There 
were various laws as to which these governments were 
allotted to the plunderers. Of these we need only allude 
to the Leges Semproniae, or laws proposed B.C. 123, by 
Caius Sempronius Gracchus for the distribution of those 
provinces which were to be enjoyed by Proconsuls. There 
were Praetorian provinces and Consular provinces, though 
there was no law making it sure that any province should 


be either Consular or Praetorian. But the Senate without the 
interference of the people and free from the Tribunes' veto, 
had the selection of provinces for the Consuls; whereas 
for those intended for the Praetors, the people had the right 
of voting, and the Tribunes of the people had a right of 
putting a veto on the propositions made. Now in this year 
_ , there came before the Senate a discussion as to 

JD.\J Ob. 

setat. 51. th e f ate Q f three Proconsuls, not as to the primary 
allocation of provinces to them, but on the question whether 
they should be continued in the government which they 
held. Piso was in Macedonia, where he was supposed to 
have disgraced himself and the empire which he served. 
Gabinius was in Syria, where it was acknowledged that he 
had done good service, though his own personal character 
stood very low. Ccesar was lord in the two Gauls, that is 
on both sides of the Alps, in Northern Italy and in that 
portion of modern France along the Mediterranean which 
had been already colonized, and was also governor of 
Illyricum. He had already made it manifest to all men 
that the subjugation of a new empire was his object rather 
than provincial plunder. Whether we love the memory of 
Caesar as of a great man who showed himself fit to rule 
the world, or turn away from him as from one who set his 
iron heel on the necks of men and by doing so retarded for 
centuries the liberties of mankind, we have to admit that 
he rose by the light of his own genius altogether above the 
ambition of his contemporaries. If we prefer, as I do, the 
humanity of Cicero, we must confess to ourselves the supre- 
macy of Caesar, and acknowledge ourselves to belong to the 


beaten cause. " Victrix causa Deis placuit ; sed victa 
Catoni." In discussing the fate of these Proconsular officials 
we feel now the absurdity of mixing together, in the same 
debate, the name of Piso and Gabinius with that of Caesar. 
Yet such was the subject in dispute when Cicero made 
his speech, " De Provinciis Cousularibus," as to the 
adjudication of the consular provinces. 

There was a strong opinion among many Senators that 
Csesar should be stopped in his career. I need not here 
investigate the motives, either great or little, on which this 
opinion was founded. There was hardly a Senator among 
them who would not have wished Csesar to be put down, 
though there were many who did not dare declare their 
wishes. There were reasons for peculiar jealousy on the part 
of the Senate. Cisalpine Gaul had been voted for him by 
the intervention of the people, and especially by that of the 
Tribune Vatinius, to Csesar who was Consularis, whose 
reward should have been an affair solely for the Senate. 
Then there had arisen a demand, a most unusual demand, for 
the other Gaul also. The giving of two provinces to one 
Governor was altogether contrary to the practice of the State ; 
but so was the permanent and acknowledged continuance 
of a conspiracy such as the Triumvirate unusual. Caesar 
himself was very unusual. Then the Senate, feeling that the 
second province would certainly be obtained and anxious to 
preserve some shred of their prerogative, themselves voted the 
Further Gaul. As it must be done let it at any rate be said 
that they had done it. But as they had sent Caesar over 
the Alps so they could recall him, or try to recall him. 


Therefore with the question as to Piso and Gabinius, which 
really meant nothing, came up this also as to^ Csesar, which 
meant a great deal. 

But CaBsar had already done great things in Gaul. He had 
defeated the Helvetians and driven Ariovistus out of the 
country. He had carried eight legions among the distant 
Belgse, and had conquered the Nervii. In this very year he 
had built a huge fleet and had destroyed the Veneti, a sea- 
faring people on the coast of the present Brittany. The more 
powerful he showed himself to be, the more difficult it was to 
recall him, but also the more desirable in the eyes of many. 
In the first portion of his speech Cicero handles Piso and 
Gabinius with his usual invective. There was no consider- 
able party desirous of renewing to them their governments ; 
but Cicero always revelled in the pleasure of abusing them. 
He devotes by far the longer part of his oration to the merit 
of Caesar. 1 As for recalling him it would be irrational. Who 
had counted more enemies in Eome than Marius, but did 
they recall Marius when he was fighting for the Republic ? 2 
Hitherto the Eepublic had been forced to fear the Gauls. 
Rome had always been on the defence against them. Now 
it had been brought about by Caesar that the limits of the 
world were the limits of the Roman empire. 3 The conquest 
was not yet finished, but surely it should be left to him 

1 Mommsen, lib. v. chap, viii., in one of his notes says that this oration as 
to the provinces was the very " palinodia " respecting which Cicero wrote to 
Atticus. The subject discussed was no doubt the same. What authority 
the historian has found for his statement I do not know ; but no writer is 
generally more correct. 

2 De Prov. Cons. ca.Jviii. 3 Ca. xiii. 


who had begun it so well. Even though Caesar were to de- 
mand to return himself, thinking that he had done enough 
for his own glory, it would be for the Senators to restrain 
him, for the Senate to bid him finish the work that he 
had in hand. 1 As for himself, continued Cicero, if Csesar had 
been his enemy, what of that, Csesar was not his enemy 
now. He had told the Senate what offers of employment 
Csesar had made him. If he could not forget yet he would 
forgive former injuries. 2 

It is important for the reading of Cicero's character that we 
should trace the meaning of his utterances about Csesar from 
this time up to the day on which Csesar was killed, his 
utterances in public and those which are found in his letters 
to Atticus and his brother. That there was much of pretence, 
of falsehood, if a hard word be necessary to suit the severity 
of those who judge the man hardly, is admitted. How he 
praised Pompey in public, dispraising him in private, at one 
and the same moment, has been declared. How he applied 
for praise, whether deserved or not, has been shown. In 
excuse, not in defence, of this I allege that the Eomans of the 
day were habitually false after this fashion. The application 
to Lucceius proves the habitual falseness, not of Cicero only, 
but of Lucceius also. And the private words written to 
Atticus, in opposition to the public words with which Atticus 
was well acquainted, prove the falseness also of Atticus. It 
was Koman ; it was Italian ; it was cosmopolitan ; it was 
human. I only wish that it were possible to declare that 

1 Ca. xiv. z Ca. xviii. 


it is no longer Italian, no longer cosmopolitan, no longer 
human. To this day it is very difficult even for an honour- 
able man to tell the whole truth in the varying circumstances 
of public life. The establishment of even a theory of truth, 
with all the advantages which have come to us from 
Christianity, has been so difficult, hitherto so imperfect, 
that we ought I think to consider well the circumstances 
before we stigmatise Cicero as specially false. To my reading 
lie seems to have been specially true. When Caesar won his 
way up to power Cicero was courteous to him, flattered him j 
and, though never subservient, yet was anxious to comply 
when compliance was possible. Nevertheless, we know well 
that the whole scheme of Caesar's political life was opposed 
to the scheme entertained by Cicero. It was Cicero's desire 
to rnaintaia as much as he could of the old form of 
oligarchical rule under which, as a constitution, the Eoman 
Empire had been created. It was Caesar's intention to sweep 
it all away. We can see that now ; but Cicero could only see 
it in part. To his outlook the man had some sense of order, 
and had all the elements of greatness. He was better at any 
rate than a Verres, a Catiline, a Clodius, a Piso, or a Gabinius. 
If he thought that by flattery he could bring Caesar somewhat 
round, there might be conceit in his so thinking, but there 
could be no treachery. In doing so he did not abandon his 
political beau ideal. If better times came, or a better man, 
he would use them. In the meantime he could do more 
by managing Caesar, than by opposing him. He was far 
enough from succeeding in the management of Caesar, but 
he did do much in keeping his party together. It was in 
VOL. ii. D 


this spirit that he advocated before the Senate the mainte- 
nance of Caesar's authority in the two Gauls. The Senate 
decreed the withdrawal of Piso and Gabinius ; but decided 
to leave Caesar where he was. Mommsen deals very hardly 
with Cicero as to this period of his life " They used him 
accordingly as, what he was good for, an advocate." 
" Cicero himself had to thank his literary reputation for the 
respectful treatment which he experienced from Caesar." The 
question we have to ask ourselves is whether he did his best 
to forward that scheme of politics which he thought to be good 
for the Eepublic. To me it seems that he did do so. He 
certainly did nothing with the object of filling his own 
pockets. I doubt whether as much can be said with perfect 
truth as to any other Roman of the period unless it be Cato. 
Balbus, for whom Cicero also spoke in this year, was a 
Spaniard of Cadiz, to whom Pompey had given the citizenship 
of Eome, who had become one of Caesar's servants and friends, 
and whose citizenship was now disputed. Cicero pleaded 
in favour of the claim, and gained his cause. There were, no 
doubt, certain laws in accordance with which Balbus was or 
was not a citizen ; but Cicero here says that because Balbus 
was a good man, therefore, there should be no question as to 
his citizenship. 1 This could hardly be a good legal argument. 
But we are glad to have the main principles of Roman 
citizenship laid down for us in this oration. A man cannot 
belong to more than one State at a time. A man cannot be 
turned out of his State against his will. A man cannot be 

1 Pro C. Balbo, ca. vii. 


forced to remain in his State against his will. 1 This Balbus 
was acknowledged as a Roman, rose to be one of Caesar's 
leading ministers and was elected Consul of the Empire 
B.C. 40. Thirty-four years afterwards his nephew became 
Consul. Nearly three centuries after that, A.D. 237, a de- 
scendant of Balbus was chosen as Emperor, under the name 
of Balbinus, and is spoken of by Gibbon with eulogy. 2 

I know no work on Cicero written more pleasantly or 
inspired by a higher spirit of justice than that of Gaston 
Boissier, of the French Academy, called " Ciceron et ses Amis." 
Among his chapters one is devoted to Cicero's remarkable 
intimacy with Cselius, which should be read by all who wish 
to study Cicero. We have now come to the speech which he 
made in this year in defence of Cselius. Cselius had entered 
public life very early, as the son of a rich citizen who was 
anxious that his heir should be enabled to shine as well by 
his father's wealth as by his own intellect. When he was 
still a boy, according to our ideas of boyhood, he was 
apprenticed to Cicero, 3 as was customary, in order that he 
might pick up the crumbs which fell from the great man's 
table. It was thus that a young man would hear what was 
best worth hearing, thus he would become acquainted with 
those who were best worth knowing, thus that he would learn 
in public life all that was best worth learning. Cselius heard 

1 Ibid. ca. xiii. 

2 Gibbon, Decline and Fall, ca. vii. 

3 There was no covenant, no bond of service, no master's authority, pro- 
bably no discipline ; but the eager pupil was taught to look upon the anxious 
tutor with love, respect, and faith. 

D 2 


all, and knew many, and learned much. But he perhaps 
learned too much at too early an age. He became bright and 
clever ; but unruly and dissipated. Cicero, however, loved 
him well. He always liked the society of bright young 
men, and could forgive their morals if their wit were good. 
Clodius even Clodius, young Curio, Cselius and afterwards 
Dolabella were companions with whom he loved to associate. 
When he was in Cilicia, as Proconsul, this Cselius became 
almost a second Atticus to him, in the writing of news 
from Eome. 

But Cselius had become one of Clodia's many lovers, and 
seems for a time to have been the first favourite, to the 
detriment of poor Catullus. The rich father had, it seems, 
quarrelled with his son, and Cselius was in want of money. 
He borrowed it from Clodia, and then, without paying his 
debt, treated Clodia as she had treated Catullus. The lady 
tried to get her money back, and when she failed, she accused 
her former lover of an attempt to poison her. This she did 
so that Cselius was tried for the offence. There were no less 
than four accusers, or advocates on her behalf, of whom her 
brother was one. Caelius was defended by Crassus as well 
as by Cicero, and was acquitted. All these cases combined 
political views with criminal charges. Cselius was declared 
to have been a Catilinian conspirator. He was also accused 
of being in debt, of having quarrelled with his father, of 
having insulted women, of having beaten a Senator, of having 
practised bribery, of having committed various murders, and 
of having perpetrated all social and political excesses to 
which his enemies could give a name. It was probable that 


his life had been very irregular ; but it was not probably 
true that he had attempted to poison Clodia. 

The speech is very well worth the trouble of reading. It 
is lively, bright, picturesque and argumentative ; and it 
tells the reader very much of the manners of Eome at the 
time. It has been condemned for a passage which to my 
taste is the best in the whole piece. Cicero takes upon 
himself to palliate the pleasures of youth, and we are told 
that a man so grave, so pure, so excellent in his own life, 
should not have condescended to utter sentiments so lax 
in defence of so immoral a young friend. I will endeavour 
to translate a portion of the passage, and I think that any 
ladies who may read these pages will agree with me in 
liking Cicero the better for what he said upon the occasion. 
He has been speaking of the changes which the manners of 
the world had undergone, not only in Eome but in Greece, 
since pleasure had been acknowledged even by philosophers 
to be necessary to life. " They who advocate one constant 
course of continual labour as .the road to fame, are left alone 
in their schools, deserted by their scholars. Nature herself 
has begotten for us allurements seduced by which virtue 
herself will occasionally become drowsy. Nature herself leads 
the young into slippery paths in which not to stumble now 
and again is hardly possible. Nature has produced for us 
a variety of pleasures, to which not only youth, but even 
middle age, occasionally yields itself. If therefore you 
shall find one who can avert his eyes from all that is 
beautiful, who is charmed by no sweet smell, by no soft 
touch, by no rich flavour, who can turn a deaf ear to coaxing 


words, I, indeed, and perhaps a few others may think that 
the gods have been good to such a one ; but I doubt whether 
the world at large will not think that the gods have made 
him a sorry fellow." There is very much more of it, delight- 
fully said, and in the same spirit ; but I have given enough 
to show the nature of the excuse for Cselius which has 
brought clown on Cicero the wrath of the moralists. 


CICERO, ^ETAT. 52, 53, AND 54. 

I CAN best continue my record of Cicero's life for this and 
the two subsequent years by following his speeches and his 
B c 55 -^ e ^ ers> -ft was a ^ this period the main object of his 
setat. 52. political life to reconcile the existence of a Caesar 
with that of a Republic ; two poles which could not by any 
means be brought together. Outside of his political life he 
carried on his profession as an advocate with all his former 
energy, with all his former bitterness, with all his old friendly 
zeal, but never, I think with his former utility. His life 
with his friends and his family was prosperous ; but that 
ambition to do some great thing for his country which might 
make his name more famous than that of other Romans, 
was gradually fading, and as it went, was leaving regrets 
and remorse behind which would not allow him to be a happy 
man. But it was now, when he had reached his fifty-second 
year, that he in truth began that career in literature which 
has made him second to no Roman in reputation. There are 
some early rhetorical essays, which were taken from the 
Greek, of doubtful authenticity. There are the few lines 
which are preserved of his poetry. There are the speeches 
which he wrote as well as spoke for the Rome of the day ; 


and there are his letters which up to this time had been 
intended only for his correspondents. All that we have from 
his pen up to this time has been preserved for us by the light 
of those great works which he now commenced. In. this year, 
B.C. 55, there appeared the dialogue " De Oratore," and in 
the next the treatise "De Eepublica\" It was his failure as 
a politician which in truth drove Cicero to the career of 
literature. As I intend to add to this second volume a few 
chapters as to his literary productions I will only mention 
the dates on which these dialogues and treatises were given 
to the world as I -go on with my work. 

In the year B.C. 55 the two of the Triumvirate who had 
been left in Borne, Pompey and Crassus, were elected Consuls ; 
and provinces were decreed to each of them ; for five 
years to Pompey the two Spain s, and to Crassus that Syria 
which was to be so fatal to him. All this had been arranged 
at Lucca in the north of Italy, whither Caesar was able to 
come as being within the bounds of his province, to meet his 
friends from Rome, or his enemies. All aristocratic Eome 
went out in crowds to Lucca, so that 200 Senators might be 
seen together in the streets of that provincial town. It was 
nevertheless near enough to Eome to permit the conqueror 
from Gaul to look closely into the politics of the city. By his 
permission, if not at his instigation, Pompey and Crassus had 
been chosen Consuls, and to himself was conceded the govern- 
ment of his own province for five "further years, that is down 
to year B.C. 49 inclusive. It must now at least have become 
evident to Cicero that Caesar intended to rule the Empire. 

Though we already have Cicero's letters arranged for us in 

CICERO, JJTAT. 52, 53, AND 54. 41 

a chronological sequence which may be held to be fairly 
correct for biographical purposes, still there is much doubt 
remaining as to the exact periods at which many of them were 
written. Abeken, the German biographer, says that this year, 
B.C. 55, produced twelve letters. In the French edition of 
Cicero's works published by Panckoucke thirty-five are allotted 
to it. Mr. Watson in his selected letters has not taken one 
from the year in question. Mr. Tyrrell, who has been my 
Mentor hitherto in regard to the correspondence, has not un- 
fortunately published the result of his labours beyond the year 
53 B.C. at the time of my present writing. Some of those 
who have dealt with Cicero's life and works and have illus- 
trated them by his letters, have added something to the existing 
confusion by assuming an accuracy of knowledge in this respect 
which has not existed. We have no right to quarrel with them 
for having done so ; certainly not with Middleton as in his 
time such accuracy was less valued by readers than it is now ; 
and we have the advantage of much light which, though still 
imperfect, is very bright in comparison with that enjoyed by 
him. A study of the letters, however, in the sequence now 
given to them affords an accurate picture of Cicero's mind 
during the years between the period of his return from exile 
B.C. 57 and Milo's trial B.C. 52, although the reader may 
occasionally be misled as to the date of this or the other letter. 
With the dates of his speeches, at any rate with the year 
in which they were made, we are better acquainted. They 
are of course much fewer in number and are easily traced by 
the known historical circumstances of the time. B.C. 55, he 
made that attack upon his old enemy the late Consul Piso, 


which is perhaps the most egregious piece of abuse extant 
in any language. Even of this we do not know the precise 
date, but we may be sure that it was spoken early in the year 
because Cicero alludes in it to Pompey's great games which 
were in preparation and which were exhibited when Pompey's 
new theatre was opened in May. 1 Plutarch tells us that they 
did not take place till the beginning of the following year. 2 
Piso on his return from Macedonia attacked Cicero in the 
Senate in answer to all the hard things that had -already 
been said of him, and Cicero, as Middleton says, " made 
a reply to him on the spot in an invective speech, the 
severest perhaps that ever was spoken by any man, on the 
person, the parts, the whole life and conduct of Piso, which 
as long as the Koman name subsists, must deliver down a 
most detestable character of him to all posterity." 

We are here asked to imagine that this attack was delivered 
on the spur of the moment in answer to Piso's attack. I 
cannot believe that it should have been so however great 
may have been the orator's power over thoughts and words. 
We have had in our own days wonderful instances of ready 
and indignant reply made instantaneously ; but none in which 

1 111 Pisonem, xxvii. Even in Cicero's words as used here there is a touch 
of irony, though we cannot but imagine that at this time he was anxious to 
stand well with Pompey. " There are coming on the games, the most costly 
and the most magnificent ever known in the memory of man ; such as there 
never were before, and, as far as I can see, never will be again." "Show 
yourself there if you dare ! " he goes on to say, addressing the wretched 

* Plutarch's Life of Pompey. " Crassus upon the expiration of his Consul- 
ship repaired to his Province. Pompey, remaining in Eome, opened his 
theatre." But Plutarch no doubt was wrong. 

CICERO, jETAT. 52, 53, AND 54. 43 

the angry eloquence has risen to such a power as is here 
displayed. We cannot but suppose that had human intellect 
ever been perfect enough for such an exertion it would have 
soared high enough also to have abstained from it. It may 
have been that Cicero knew well enough beforehand what 
the day was about to produce, so as to have prepared his 
reply. It may well have been that he himself undertook the 
polishing of his speech before it was given to the public 
in the words which we now read. We may I think, take it 
for granted that Piso did make an attack upon him, and that 
Cicero answered him at once with words which crushed him, 
and which are not unfairly represented by those which have 
come down to us. 

The imaginative reader will lose himself in wonder as he 
pictures to himself the figure of the pretentious Proconsul, 
with his assumption of confidence, as he was undergoing the 
castigation which this great master of obloquy was inflicting 
upon him, and the figure of the tall lean orator, with his long 
neck and keen eyes, with his arms trained to assist his voice, 
managing his purple-bordered toga with a perfect grace, throw- 
ing all his heart into his impassioned words as they fell into 
the ears of the Senators around him without the loss of a 
syllable. This Lucius Calpurnius Piso Csesoronius had come 
from one of the highest families in Eome, and had possessed 
interest enough to be elected Consul for the year in which 
Cicero was sent into banishment. 1 He was closely connected 

1 We may imagine what was the standing of the family from the address 
which Horace made to certain members of it in the time of Augustus. 


with that Piso Frugi to whom Cicero's daughter had been 
married ; and Cicero when he was threatened by the faction 
of Clodius, a faction which he did not then believe to be 
supported by the Triumvirate, had thought that he was 
made safe at any rate from cruel results by consular friend- 
ship and consular protection. Piso Csesoronius had failed 
him altogether, saying in answer to Cicero's appeal that the 
times were of such a nature that every one must look to him- 
self. The nature of Cicero's rage may be easily conceived. 
An attempt to describe it has already been made. It was not 
till after his Consulate that he was ever waked to real anger, 
and the one object whom he most entirely hated with his 
whole soul was Lucius Piso. 

By the strength of Cicero's eloquence this man has occupied 
an immortality of meanness. We cannot but believe that he 
must have in some sort deserved it, or the justice of the 
world would have vindicated his character. It should 
however, be told of him that three years afterwards he was 
chosen Censor, together with Appius Claudius. But it must 
also be told that as far as we can judge both these men were 
unworthy of the honour. They were the two last Censors 
elected in Rome before the days of the Empire. It is 
impossible not to believe that Piso was vile, but impossible 
also to believe that he was as vile as Cicero represented him. 
Caesar was at this time his son-in-law, as he was father 
to Calphurnia with whom Shakespeare has made us familiar. 

"Credite Pisones.' 1 De Arte Poetica. The Pisones so addressed were the 
grandsons of Cicero's victim. 

CICERO, jETAT. 52, 53, AND 54. 45 

I do not know that Caesar took in bad part the hard things 
that were said of his father-in-law. 

The first part of the speech is lost. The first words we 
know hecause they have been quoted by Quintilian, " Oh 
ye gods immortal, what day is this which has shone upon 
ine at last ? " l We may imagine from this that Cicero in- 
tended it to be understood that he exulted in the coming 
of his revenge. The following is a fair translation of the 
opening passage of what remains to us, " Beast that you are, 
do you not see, do you not perceive, how odious to the men 
around you is that face of yours ? " Then with rapid words 
he heaps upon the unfortunate man accusations of personal 
incompetencies. Nobody complains, says Cicero, that that 
fellow of yesterday, Gabinius, should have been made Consul. 
We have not been deceived in him. " But your eyes and eye- 
brows, your forehead, that face of yours, which should be 
the dumb index of the mind within, have deceived those 
who have not known you. Few of us only have been aware 
of your infamous vices, the sloth of your intellect, your dul- 
ness, your inability to speak. When was your voice heard 
in the Forum ; when has your counsel been put to the proof ; 
when did you do any service either in peace or war ? You 
have crept into your high place by the mistakes of men, by 
the regard paid to the dirty images of your ancestors, to whom 

1 Quin. ix. 4. " Pro dii immortales, quis hie illuxit dies ! " The critic 
quotes it as being vicious in sound, and running into metre, which was con- 
sidered a great fault in Roman prose, as it is also in English. Our ears, 
however, are hardly fine enough to catch the Iambic twang of which Quin- 
tilian complains. 


you have no resemblance except in their present grimy 
colour. And shall he boast to me," says the orator, turning 
from Piso to the audience around, " that he has gone on with- 
out a check, from one step in the magistracy to another ! That 
is a boast for me to make, for me, " homini novo " a man 
without ancestors on whom the Eoman people has showered 
all its honours. You were made ^Edile, you say ; the Roman 
people choose a Piso for their ^Edile, not this man from any 
regard for himself, but because he is a Piso. The praetor- 
ship was conferred, not on you, but on your ancestors, 
who were known and who were dead ! Of you, who are 

alive, no one has known anything. But me !" Then 

he continues the contrast between himself and Piso ; for 
the speech is as full of his own merits as of the other man's 

So the oration goes on to the end. He asserts, addressing 
himself to Piso, that if he saw him and Gabiiiius crucified 
together, he did not know whether he would be most 
delighted by the punishment inflicted on their bodies or by 
the ruin of their reputation. He declares that he has 
prayed for all evil on Piso and Gabinius, and that the gods 
have heard him ; but it has not been for death, or sickness, 
or for torment, that he had prayed ; but for such evils as 
have in truth come upon them. Two Consuls sent with 
large armies into two of the grandest provinces have re- 
turned with disgrace. That one, meaning Piso, has not 
dared even to send home an account of his doings ; and 
the other, Gabinius, has not had his words credited by 
the Senate, nor any of his requests granted I He, Cicero, 

CICERO, ^TAT. 52, 53, AND 54. 47 

had hardly dared to hope for all this, but the gods had 
done it for him ! The most absurd passage is that in which 
he tells Piso that, having lost his army, which he had 
done, he had brought back nothing in safety but that " old 
impudent face of his." 1 Altogether it is a tirade of abuse 
very inferior to Cicero's dignity. Le Clerc, the French critic 
and editor, speaks the truth when he says, " II faut avouer 
qu'il manque surtout de moderation, et que la gravit^ d'un 
orateur consulaire y fait trop souvent place a 1'emportement 
d'un ennemi." It is, however, full of life, and amusing 
as an expression of honest hatred. The reader when read- 
ing it will of course remember that Eoman manners 
allowed a mode of expression among the upper classes which 
is altogether denied to those among us who hope to be 
regarded as gentlemen. 

The games in Pompey's theatre to the preparation of 
which Cicero alludes in his speech against Piso are described 
by him with his usual vivacity and humour in a letter 
written immediately after them to his friend Marius. Pom- 
pey's games, with which he celebrated his second Consulship, 
seem to have been divided between the magnificent theatre 
which he had just built, fragments of which still remain 
to us, and the " circus maximus." This letter from Cicero 
is very interesting, as showing the estimation in which these 
games are held, or were supposed to be held, by a Eoman 
man of letters, and as giving us some description of what 
was done on the occasion. Marius had not come to Eome 

1 Ca. zviii. xx. xxii. 


to see them, and Cicero writes as though his friend had 
despised them. Cicero himself, having been in Rome, 
had of course witnessed them. To have been in Rome 
and not to have seen them would have been quite out 
of the question. Not to come to Rome from a distance 
was an eccentricity. . He congratulated Marius for not 
having come, whether it was that he was ill, or that the 
whole thing was too despicable. " You in the early morning 
have been looking out upon your view over the bay while 
we have been staring at puppets half asleep. Most costly 
games, but I should say, judging of you by myself that 
they would have been quite revolting to you. Poor JSsopus 
was there acting, but so unfitted by age that all his friends 
could not but wish that he had desisted. Why should I 
tell you of it all ? The very costliness of the affair took 
away all the pleasure. Six hundred mules on the stage in 
the acting of ' Clytemnestra,' or three thousand golden goblets 
in ' The Trojan Horse,' what delight could they give you '( 
If your slave Protogenes was reading to you something, 
so that it were not one of my speeches, you were better 
off at any rate than we. There were two marvellous 
slaughterings of beasts which lasted for five days. Nobody 
denies but that they were very grand. But what pleasure 
can there be to a man of letters 1 when some weak human 

1 " Quse potest homini esse polito delectatio," Ad Div. vii. 1. These words 
have in subsequent years heen employed as an argument against all out of 
door sports, with disregard of the fact that they were used by Cicero as to 
an amusement in which the spectators were merely looking on, taking no 
active part in deeds either of danger or of skill. Fortnightly Review, 
October 1869, ' The Morality of Field Sports.' 

CICERO, jETAT. 52, 53, AND 54. 49 

creature is destroyed by a sturdy beast, or when some lonely 
animal is pierced through by a hunting-spear. The last 
day was the day of elephants ; in which there could be no 
delight except to the vulgar crowd. You could not but 
pity them, feeling that the poor brutes had something in 
common with humanity." In these combats were killed 
twenty elephants and two hundred lions. The bad taste 
and systematical corruption of Rome had reached its acme 
when this theatre was opened and these games displayed 
by Pompey. 

He tells Atticus l in a letter written about this time that 
he is obliged to write to him by the hand of a secretary ; 
from which we gather that such had not been at any rate 
his practice. He is every day in the Forum, making 
speeches ; and he had already composed the dialogues De 
Oratore, and had sent them to Lentulus. Though he was 
no longer in office his time seems to have been as fully 
occupied as when he was Prastor or Consul. 

We have records of at least a dozen speeches, made B.C. 55 
and B.C. 54, between that against Piso and the next that is 
extant, w r hich was delivered in defence of Plancius. He 
defended Cispius, but Cispius was convicted. He defended 
Caninius Gallus, of whom we may presume that he was con- 
demned and exiled because Cicero found him at Athens on 
his way to Cilicia, Athens being the place to which exiled 
Roman oligarchs generally betook themselves. 2 In his letter 
to his young friend Cselius he speaks of the pleasure he had 

1 Ad Att. lib. iv. 16. a Ad. Div. ii. 8. 



in meeting with Caninius at Athens ; but in the letter to 
Marius which I have quoted, he complains of the necessity 
which has befallen him of defending the man. The heat of 
the summer of this year he passed in the country, but on his 
return to the city in November he found Crassus defending 
his old enemy Gabinius. Gabinius had crept back from his 
province into the city, and had been received with universal 
scorn and a shower of accusations. Cicero at first neither 
accused nor defended him, but, having been called on as 
a witness, seems to have been unable to refrain from some- 
thing of the severity with which he had treated Piso. There 
was at any rate a passage of arms in which Gabinius called 
him a banished criminal. 1 The Senate then rose as one body 
to do honour to their late exile. He was, however, after- 
wards driven by the expostulations of Pompey to defend the 
man. At his first trial Gabinius was acquitted, but was 
convicted and banished when Cicero defended him. Cicero 
suffered very greatly in the constraint thus put upon him by 
Pompey, and refused Pompey till Caesar's request was added. 
"We can imagine that nothing was more bitter to him than 
the obligation thus forced upon him. We have nothing of 
the speech left, but can hardly believe that it was eloquent. 
From this, however, there rose a reconciliation between Crassus 
and Cicero, both Csesar and Pompey haviug found it to their 
interest to interfere. As a result of this, early in the next 

1 See the letter ; Ad Quin. Frat. lib. iii. 2. ' ' Homo undique actus, et 
qnam a me maxime vulneraretur, non tulit, et me trementi voce exulem 
appellavit." The whole scene is described. 

CICERO, JET AT. 52, 53, AND 54. 51 

year, Cicero defended Crassus in the Senate, when an attempt 
was made to rob the late Consul of his coveted 

5.0. 04. 

aetat. 3. m i ss i on to Syria. Of what he did in this respect 
he boasts in a letter to Crassus, 1 which regarded from our 
point of view would no doubt be looked upon as base. He 
despised Crassus and here takes credit for all the fine things 
he had said of him. But we have no right to think that 
Cicero could have been altogether unlike a Eoman. He 
speaks also in the Senate on behalf of the people of Tenedos 
who had brought their immunities and privileges into ques- 
tion by some supposed want of faith. All we know of this 
speech is that it was spoken in vain. He pleaded against an 
Asiatic king, Antiochus of Comagene, who was befriended 
by Pompey, but Cicero seems to have laughed him out of 
some of his petty possessions. 2 He spoke for the inhabitants 
of Keate on some question of water privilege against the 
Interamnates. Interamna we now know as Terne, where a 
modern Pope made a lovely waterfall, and at the same time 
rectified the water privileges of the surrounding district. 
Cicero went down to its pleasant Tempe, as he calls it, and 
stayed there a while with one Axius. 3 He returned thence 
to Eome to undertake some case for Fonteius, and attended 
the games which Milo was giving, Milo having been elected 
^Edile. Here we have a morsel of dramatic criticism on 
Antiphon the actor and Arbuscula the actress, which re- 
minds one of Pepys. Then he defended Messius, then 
Drusus, then Scaurus. He mentions all these cases in the 

1 Ad Fam. v. 8. 2 Ad Quint. Frat. ii. 12. 3 Ad Att. iv. 16. 

E 2 


same letter, but so slightly that we cannot trouble ourselves 
with their details. We only feel that he was kept as 
busy as a London barrister in full practice. He also 
defended Vatinius, that Vatinius with whose iniquities 
he had been so indignant at the trial of Sextius. He 
Defended him twice, at the instigation of Caesar, and he 
does not seem to have suffered in doing so as he had 
certainly done when called upon to stand up and plead for 
his late Consular enemy, Gabinius. Valerius Maximus, a dull 
author often quoted but seldom read, whose task it was to 
give instances of all the virtues and vices produced by 
mankind, refers to these pleadings for Gabinius and Vatinius 
as instances of an almost divine forgiveness of injury. 1 I 
think we must seek for the good, if good is to be discovered 
in the proceeding, in the presumed strength which might be 
added to the Eepublic by friendly relations between himself 
and Caesar. 

In the spring of the year we find Cicero writing to Caesar 
in apparently great intimacy. He recommends to Caesar 
his young friend Trebatius, a lawyer, who was going to Gaul 
in search of his fortune, and in doing so he refers to a 
joking promise from Caesar that he would make another 
friend, whom he had recommended, King of Gaul, or if 
not that, foreman at least to Lepta, his head of the mechanics. 
Lepta was an officer in trust under Caesar, with whose name 
we become familiar in Cicero's correspondence though I 
do not remember that Caesar ever mentions him. "Send 

1 Val. Max. lib. iv. ca. ii. 4. 

CICERO, jETAT. 52, 53, AND 54. 53 

me some one else that I may show my friendship," Caesar 
had said, knowing well that Cicero was worth any price of 
the kind. Cicero declares to Caesar that on hearing this he 
held up his hands in grateful surprise, and on this account 
he had sent Trebatius. " Mi Caesar," he says, writing 
with all affection ; and then he praises Tlebatius, assuring 
Caesar that he does not recommend the young man loosely, 
as he had some other young men who were worthless, 
such as Milo, for instance. This results in much good done 
to Trebatius, though the young man at first does not like 
the service with the army. He is a lawyer, and finds the 
work in Gaul very rough. Cicero, who is anxious on his 
behalf, laughs at him and bids him take the good things 
that come in his way. In subsequent years Trebatius was 
made known to the world as the legal pundit whom Horace 
pretends to consult as to the libellous nature of his satires. 1 

In September of this year Cicero pleaded in court for his 
friend Cn. Plancius, against whom there was brought an 
accusation that in canvassing and obtaining the office of 
^Edile he had been guilty of bribery. In all these accusa- 
tions which come before us as having been either promoted 
or opposed by Cicero, there is not one in which the reader 
sympathises more strongly with the person accused than in 

1 Horace, Sat. lib. ii. 1 : 

HOR. "Trebati, 

Quid faciam prescribe." TREE. " Quiescas." HOR. "Ne faciam, inquis, 
Omnino versus ?" TREE. "Aio." HOR. " Peream male si mm 
Optimum erat." 

Trebatius became a noted jurisconsult in the time of Augustus, and 
wrote treatises. 


this. Plancius had shown Cicero during his banishment 
the affection of a brother, or almost of a son. Plancius had 
taken him in and provided for him in Macedonia, when to 
do so was illegal. Cicero now took great delight in re- 
turning the favour. The reader of this oration cannot learn 
from it that Plancius had in truth done anything illegal. 
The complaint really made against him was that he, filling 
the comparatively humble position of a knight, had ventured 
to become the opposing candidate of such a gallant young 
aristocrat as M. Juventius Laterensis, who was beaten at this 
election and now brought this action in revenge. There is 
no tearing of any enemy to tatters in this oration, but there 
is much pathos, and, as was usual with Cicero at this period 
of his life, an inordinate amount of self-praise. There are 
many details as to the way in which the tribes voted at 
elections which the patient and curious student will find 
instructive, but which will probably be caviare to all who 
are not patient and curious students. There are a few 
passages of peculiar force. Addressing himself to the rival 
of Plancius, he tells Laterensis that even though the people 
might have judged badly in selecting Plancius, it was 
not the less his duty to accept the judgment of the 
people. 1 Say that the people ought not to have done so ; 
but it should have been sufficient for him that they had done 
so. Then he laughs with a beautiful irony at the pretensions 
of the accuser. " Let us suppose that it was so," he says. 2 

1 Ca. iv. " Male judicavit populus. At judicavit. Non debuit, at potuit. " 
8 Ca. vL Servare necesse est gradus. Cedat consular! gcneri prsetorium, nee 
contendat cum praetorio equester locus.' 1 

CICERO, ^ETAT. 52, 53, AND 54. 55 

" Let no one whose family has not soared above prsetorian 
honours, contest any place with one of consular family. Let no 
mere knight stand against one with prsetorian relations." In 
such a case there would be no need of the people to vote at 
all. Further on he gives his own views as to the honours of 
the State in language that is very grand. " It has," he says, 
" been my first endeavour to deserve the high rank of the 
State. My second to have been thought to deserve it. The rank 
itself has been but the third object of my desires." ' Plancius 
was acquitted, it seems to us quite as a matter of course. 

In this perhaps the most difficult period of his existence, 
when the organised conspiracy of the day had not as yet 
overturned the landmarks of the constitution, he wrote a long 
letter to his friend Lentulus, 2 him who had been prominent 
as Consul in rescuing him from his exile, and who was now 
Proconsul in Cilicia. Lentulus had probably taxed him, 
after some friendly fashion, with going over from the " opti- 
mates" or Senatorial party to that of the conspirators Pompey, 
Caesar, and Crassus. He had been called a deserter for having 
passed in his earlier years from the popular party to that of 
the Senate, and now the leading optimates were doubtful of 
him, whether he was not showing himself too well inclined 
to do the bidding of the democratic leaders. The one accu- 
sation has been as unfair as the other. In this letter he 
reminds Lentulus that a captain in making a port cannot 
always sail thither in a straight line, but must tack and haul 
and use a slant of wind as he can get it. Cicero was always 

1 Ca. xix. 2 Ad Fam. i. 9. 


struggling to make way against a head wind, and was running 
hither and thither in his attempt, in a manner most per- 
plexing to those who were looking on without knowing the 
nature of the winds ; but his port was always there, clearly 
visible to him, if he could only reach it. That port was 
the Old Eepublic, with its well-worn and once successful insti- 
tutions. It was not to be " fetched." The winds had become 
too perverse, and the entrance had become choked with sand. 
But he did his best to fetch it ; and, though he was driven 
hither and thither in his endeavours, it should be remembered 
that to lookers on such must ever be the appearance of those 
who are forced to tack about in search of their port. 

I have before ine Mr. Forsyth's elaborate and very accurate 
account of this letter. " Now, however," says the biographer, 
" the future lay dark before him ; and not the most sagacious 
politician at Rome could have divined the series of events, 
blundering weakness on the one side and unscrupulous 
ambition on the other, which led to the dictatorship of 
Caesar and the overthrow of the constitution." Nothing can 
be more true. Cicero was probably the most sagacious 
politician in Eome, and he, though he did understand much 
of the weakness, and it should be added of the greed, of 
his own party, did not foresee the point which Caesar was 
destined to reach, and which was now probably fixed before 
Caesar's own eyes. But I cannot agree with Mr. Forsyth in 
the result at which he had arrived when he quoted a passage 
from one of the notes affixed by Melmoth to his translation 
of this letter. " It was fear alone that determined his reso- 
lution ; and having once already suffered in the cause of 

CICERO, jETAT. 52, 53, AND 54. 57 

liberty, he did not find himself to be disposed to be twice 
its martyr." I should not have thought these words worthy 
of refutation had they not been backed by Mr. Forsyth. 
How did Cicero show his fear[? Had he feared, as indeed 
there was cause enough, when it was difficult for a leading 
man to keep his throat uncut amidst the violence of the 
times, or a house over his head, might he not have made 
himself safe by accepting Caesar's offers ? A Proconsul out 
of Home was safe enough, but he would not be a Pro- 
consul out of Korne till he could avoid it no longer. When 
the day of danger came, he joined Pompey's army against 
Csesar, doubting, not for his life but for his character, as to 
what might be the best for the Eepublic. He did not fear 
when Caesar was dead and only Antony remained. When 
the hour came in which his throat had to be cut, he did not 
fear. When a man has shown such a power of action in 
the face of danger as Cicero displayed at forty -four in his 
Consulship, and again at sixty -four in his prolonged struggle 
with Antony, it is contrary to nature that he should have 
been a coward at fifty-four. 

And all the evidence of the period is opposed to this theory 
of cowardice. There was nothing special for him to fear 
when Caesar was in Gaul and Crassus about to start for 
Syria and Pompey for his provinces. Such was the condition 
of Home, social and political, that all was uncertain and all 
was dangerous. But men had become used to danger, and 
were anxious only in the general scramble to get what plunder 
might be going. Unlimited plunder was at Cicero's com- 
mand, provinces, magistracies, abnormal lieutenancies; 


but lie took nothing. He even told his friend in joke that 
he would have liked to be an augur, and the critics have 
thereupon concluded that he was ready to sell his country 
for a trifle. But he took nothing, when all others were 
helping themselves. 

The letter to Lentulus is well worth studying, if only as 
evidence of the thoughtfulness with which he weighed every 
point affecting his own character. He did wish to stand well 
with the " optimates " of whom Lentulus was one. He did 
wish to stand well with Csesar, and with Pompey, who at 
this time was Caesar's jackal. He did find the difficulty of 
running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. He 
must have surely learned at last to hate all compromise. But 
he had fallen on ^hard times, and the task before him was 
impossible. If however his hands were clean when those of 
others were dirty, and his motives patriotic while those of 
others were selfish, so much ought to be said for him. 

In the same year he defended Eabirius Postumus, and 
in doing so carried on the purpose which he had been insti- 
gated to undertake by Caesar in defending Gabinius. This 
Eabirius was the nephew of him whom ten years before 
Cicero had defended when accused of having killed Saturninus. 
He was a knight, and, as was customary with the Equites, 
had long been engaged in the pursuit of trade, making money 
by lending money and such like. He had, it seems, been a 
successful man, but, in an evil time for himself, had come 
across King Ptolemy Auletes when there was a question of 
restoring that wretched sovereign to the throne of Egypt. 
As Cicero was not himself much exercised in this matter, I 

CICERO, jETAT. 52, 53, AND 54. 59 

have not referred to the "king and his affairs, wishing as far 
as possible to avoid questions which concern the history of 
Eome rather than the life of Cicero ; but the affairs of this 
banished king continually come up in the records of this 
time. Pompey had befriended Auletes, and Gabinius, when 
Proconsul in Syria, had succeeded in restoring the king to 
his throne, no doubt in obedience to Pompey, though not in 
obedience to the Senate. Auletes, when in Rome, had re- 
quired large sums of money. Suppliant kings when in the 
city needed money to buy venal Senators, and Rabirius had 
supplied him. The profits to be made from suppliant kings 
when in want of money were generally very great. But this 
king seems to. have got hold of all the money which Rabirius 
possessed, so that the knight-banker found himself obliged 
to become one of the king's suite when the king went back 
to take possession of his kingdom. In no other way could 
he hang on to the vast debt that was owing to him. In 
Egypt he found himself compelled to undergo various in- 
dignities. He became no better than a head servant among 
the king's servants. One of the charges brought against him 
was, that he, a Roman knight, had allowed himself to be 
clothed in the half feminine garb of an Oriental attendant 
upon a king. It was also brought against him as part of 
the accusation that he had bribed, or had endeavoured to 
bribe, a certain Senator. The crime nominally laid to the 
charge of Rabirius was "De repetundis," for extorting 
money in the position of a magistrate. The money alluded 
to had been in truth extorted by Gabinius from Ptolemy 
Auletes, as the price paid for his restoration, and had come 


in great part probably from out of the pocket of Rabirius 
himself. Gabinius had been condemned and ordered to repay 
the money. He had none to repay, and the claim, by some 
clause in the law to that effect, was transferred to Rabirius 
as his agent. Rabirius was accused as though he had ex- 
torted the money, which he had in fact lost ; but the spirit 
of the accusation lay in the idea that he, a Roman knight, 
had basely subjected himself to an Egyptian king. That 
Rabirius had been base and sordid there can be no doubt. 
That he was ruined by his transaction with Auletes is equally 
certain. It is supposed that he was convicted. He was after- 
wards employed by Csesar, who, when in power, may have re- 
called him from banishment. There are many passages in the 
oration to which I would fain refer the reader had I space 
to do so. I will name only one in which Cicero endeavours 
to ingratiate himself with his audience by referring to the 
old established Roman hatred of kings. " Who is there 
among us, who though he may not have tried them himself, 
does not know the ways of kings?" "Listen to me here." 
" Obey my word at once." " Speak a word more than you 
are told, and you'll see what you'll get." " Do that a second 
time and you die ! " " We should read of such things and 
look at them from a distance, not only for our pleasure, but 
that we may know of what we have to be aware, and what 
we ought to avoid." l 

There is a letter written in this year to Curio, another 
young friend such as Caelius, of whom I have spoken. Curio 

i Ca. xi. 

CICERO, jETAT. 52, 53, AND 54. 61 

also was clever, dissipated, extravagant and unscrupulous. 
But at this period of his life he was attached to Cicero, who 
was not indifferent to the services which might accrue to 
him from friends who might be violent and unscrupulous on 
the right side. 

This letter was written to secure Curio's services for an- 
B c 53 ^ ner friend not quite so young, but equally attached, 
setat.54. an( j p^apg O f a u the Eomans of the time the 
most unscrupulous and the most violent. This friend was 
Milo, who was about to stand for the Consulship of the 
following year. Curio was on his road from Asia Minor, 
where he had been Quaestor, and is invited by Cicero in lan- 
guage peculiarly pressing to be the leader of Milo's party on 
the occasion. 1 We cannot but imagine that the winds which 
Curio was called upon to govern were the tornadoes and 
squalls which were to be made to rage in the streets of 
Eome to the great discomfiture of Milo's enemies during 
his canvass. To such a state had Eome come that for the 
first six months of this year there were no Consuls, an 
election being found to be impossible. Milo had been 
the great opponent of Clodius in the city rows which had 
taken place previous to the exile of Cicero. The two 
men are called by Mommsen the Achilles and the Hector of 
the streets. 2 Cicero was of course on Milo's side as Milo 
was enemy to Clodius. In this matter his feeling was so 

1 Ad Fam. lib. ii. 6. "Dux nobis et auctor opus est et eorum ventorum 
quos proposui moderator quidein et quasi gubernator." 

2 Mommsen, book T. chap. viii. According to the historian Clodius was the 
Achilles and Milo the Hector. In this quarrel Hector killed Achilles. 


strong that he declares to Curio that he does not think 
that the welfare and fortunes of one man were ever so dear 
to another as now were those of Milo to him. Milo's success 
is the only object of interest he has in the world. This is 
interesting to us now as a prelude to the great trial which 
was to take place in the next year, when Milo instead of 
being elected Consul was conyicted of murder. 

In the two previous years Caesar had made two invasions 
into Britain, in the latter of which Quintus Cicero had ac- 
companied him. Cicero in various letters alludes to this 
undertaking, but barely gives it the importance which we, as 
Britons, think should have been attached to so tremendous 
an enterprise. There might perhaps be some danger, he 
thought, in crossing the seas and encountering the rocky 
shores of the island, but there was nothing to be got worth 
the getting. He tells Atticus that he can hardly expect any 
slaves skilled either in music or letters, 1 and he suggests to 
Trebatius that as he will certainly find neither gold nor 
slaves, he had better put himself into a British chariot and 
come back in it as soon as possible. 2 In this year Caesar 
reduced the remaining tribes of Gaul and crossed the Rhine 
a second time. It was his sixth year in Gaul, and men had 
learned to know what was his nature. Cicero had discovered 
his greatness, as also Pompey must have done, to his great 
dismay. And he had himself discovered what he was him- 
self. But two accidents occurred in this year which were 
perhaps as important in Roman history as the continuance 

1 Ad Att. lib. iv. 16. 2 Ad Fam. lib. vii. 7. 

CICERO, J1TAT. 52, 53, AND 54. 63 

of Caesar's success. Julia, Caesar's daughter and Pompey's 
wife, died in childbed. She seems to have been loved by 
all, and had been idolised from the time of the marriage by 
her uxorious husband who was more than twenty-four years 
her senior. She certainly had been a strong bond of union 
between Caesar and Pompey; so much so that we are 
surprised that such a feeling should have been so powerful 
among the Romans of the time. " Concordiae pignus ; " a 
" pledge of friendship," she is called by Paterculus, who tells 
us in the same sentence that the Triumvirate had no other 
bond to hold it together. 1 Whether the friendship might have 
remained valid had Julia lived we cannot say ; but she died, 
and the two friends became enemies. From the moment of 
Julia's death there was no Triumvirate. 

The other accident was equally fatal to the bond of union 
which had bound the three men together. Late in the year, 
after his Consulship, B.C. 54, Crassus had gone to his Syrian 
government with the double intention of increasing his 
wealth and rivalling the military glories of Caesar and 
Pompey. In the following year he became an easy victim 
to eastern deceit, and was destroyed by the Parthians with 
his son and the greater part of the Eoman army which had 
been entrusted to him. 2 We are told that Crassus at last 

1 Veil. Pat. ii. 47. 

2 We remember the scorn with which Horace has treated the Koman sol- 
dier whom he supposes to have consented to accept both his life and a spouse 
from the Parthian conqueror. 

" Milesne Crassi conjuge barbara 

Turpis maritus vixit ? " Ode iii. 5. 
It has been calculated that of 40,000 legionaries half were killed, 10,000 


destroyed himself. I doubt, however, whether there was 
enough of patriotism alive among Eomans at the time to 
create the feeling which so great a loss and so great a shame 
should have occasioned. As far as we can learn the destruc- 
tion of Crassus and his legions did not occasion so much 
thought in Eome as the breaking up of the Triumvirate. 

Cicero's daughter Tullia was now a second time without 
a husband. She was the widow of her first husband Piso ; 
had then, B.C. 56, married Crassipes, and had been 
divorced. Of him we have heard nothing, except that he 
was divorced. A doubt has been thrown on the fact whether 
she was in truth ever married to Crassipes. "We learn from 
letters, both to his brother and to Atticus, that Cicero was 
contented with the match when it was made, and did his 
best to give the lady a rich dowry. 1 

In this year Cicero was elected into the college of Augurs 
to fill the vacancy made by the death of young Crassus who 
had been killed with his father in Parthia. The reader will 
remember that he had in a joking manner expressed a desire 
for the office. He now obtained it without any difficulty, 
and certainly without any sacrifice of his principle. It had 
formerly been the privilege of the Augurs to fill up the 
vacancies in their own college, but the right had been 
transferred to the people. It was now conferred upon 
Cicero without serious opposition. 

returned to Syria, and that 10,000 settled themselves in the country we now 
know as Merv. 

1 Ad Quint. Frat. lib. ii. 4, and Ad Att. lib. iv. 5. 



THE preceding year came to an end without any consular 
election. It was for the election expected to have taken 
BC 52, pl ace that the services of Curio had been so 
setat. 55. ar( j en tly bespoken by Cicero on behalf of Milo. 
In order to impede the election Clodius accused Milo of 
being in debt and Cicero defended him. What was the 
nature of the accusation we do not exactly know. "An in- 
quiry into Milo's debts ! " Such was the name given to the 
pleadings as found with the fragments which have come to 
us. 1 In these, which are short and not specially interesting, 
there is hardly a word as to Milo's debts ; but much abuse 
of Clodius, with some praise of Cicero himself, and some 
praise also of Pompey who was so soon to take up arms 
against Cicero, not metaphorically, but in grim reality of 
sword and buckler, in this matter of his further defence 
of Milo. We cannot believe that Milo's debts stood in the 
way of his election, but we know that at last he was not 
elected. Early in the year Clodius was killed, and then at 
the suggestion of Bibulus, whom the reader will remember 

1 " Interrogatio de sere alieno Milouis." 


as the colleague of Csesar in the Consulship when Csesar 
reduced his colleague to ridiculous impotence by his violence, 
Pompey was elected as sole Consul, an honour which befell 
no other Eoman. 1 The condition of Eome must have been 
very low when such a one as Bibulus thought that no 
order was possible except by putting absolute power into 
the hands of him who had so lately been the partner of 
Csesar in the conspiracy which had not even yet been alto- 
gether brought to an end. That Bibulus acted under con- 
straint is no doubt true. It would be of little matter now 
from what cause he acted, were it not that his having taken 
a part in this utter disruption of the Eoman form of govern- 
ment is one proof the more that there was no longer any 
hope for the Eepublic. 

But the story of the killing of Clodius must be told at 
some length, because it affords the best drawn picture that 
we can get of the sort of violence with which Eoman affairs 
had to be managed ; and also because it gave rise to one 
of the choicest morsels of forensic eloquence that have ever 
been prepared by the intellect and skill of an advocate. It 
is well known that the speech to which I refer was not 
spoken, and could not have been spoken in the form in 
which it has reached us. We do not know what part of it 
was spoken and what was omitted ; but we do know that 
the " Pro Milone " exists for us, and that it lives among the 
glories of language as a published oration. I find on look- 
ing through the Institutio Oratoria of Quintilian that in his 

1 Livy, Epitome, 107. " Absens et solus quod nulli alii uinquam contigit." 

MILO. 67 

estimation the " Pro Milone " was the first in favour of all 
our author's orations, " facile princeps," if we may collect 
the critic's ideas on the subject from the number of references 
made and examples taken. Quintilian's work consists of 
lessons on oratory which he supports by quotations from 
the great orators, both Greek and Latin, with whose speeches 
he has made himself familiar. Cicero was to him the chief 
of orators; so much so that we may almost say that 
Quintilian's Institutio is rather a lecture in honour of 
Cicero than a general lesson. With the Roman school- 
master's method of teaching for the benefit of the Eoman 
youth of the day we have no concern at present, but we 
can gather from the references made by him the estimation 
in which various orations were held by others, as well as 
by him, in his day. The " Pro Cluentio," which is twice 
as long as the " Pro Milone," and which has never, I 
think, been a favourite with modern readers, is quoted 
very frequently by Quintilian. It is the second in the 
list. Quintilian makes eighteen references of it. But the 
" Pro Milone " is brought to the reader's notice thirty-seven 
times. Quintilian was certainly a good critic ; and he under- 
stood how to recommend himself to his own followers by 
quoting excellences which had already been acknowledged 
as the best which Eoman literature had afforded. 

Those who have gone before me in writing the life 
of Cicero have, in telling their story as to Milo, very 
properly gone to Asconius for their details. As I must 
do so too, I shall probably not diverge far from them. 
Asconius wrote as early as in the reign of Claudius and 

F 2 


had in his possession the annals of the time which have 
not come to us. Among other writings he could refer to 
those books of Livy which have since been lost. He seems 
to have done his work as commentator with no glow of 
affection and with no touch of animosity, either on one 
side or on the other. There can be no reason for doubting 
the impartiality of Asconius as to Milo's trial, and every 
reason for trusting his knowledge of the facts. 

When the year began no Consuls had been chosen and 
an interrex became necessary, one interrex after another, 
B c 52 to make the election of Consuls possible in accord- 
ant. 55. ance ^k ^g f orms O f t} ie constitution. These men 
remained in office each for five days, and it was customary 
that an election which had been delayed should be completed 
within the days of the second or third interrex. There were 
three candidates, Milo, Hypsseus, and Q. Metellus Scipio, by 
all of whom bribery and violence were used with open and un- 
blushing profligacy. Cicero was wedded to Milo's cause, as 
we have seen from his letter to Curio, but it does not appear 
that he himself took any active part in the canvass. The 
duties to be done required rather the services of a Curio. 
Pompey on the other hand was nearly as warmly engaged 
in favour of Hypsseus and Scipio, though in the turn 
which affairs took he seems to have been willing enough 
to accept the office himself when it came in his way. Milo 
and Clodius had often fought in the streets of Rome, each 
ruffian attended by a band of armed combatants, so that in 
audacity, as Asconius says, they were equal. 

On the 20th of January Milo was returning to Kerne 

MILO. 69 

from Lanuvium where he had been engaged as chief magis- 
trate of the town, in nominating a friend for the muncipality. 
He was in a carriage with his wife Fausta, and with a friend, 
and was followed, as was his wont, by a large band of armed 
men, among whom were two noted gladiators, Eudamus and 
Birria. At Bovillse, near the temple of the Bona Dea, his 
cortege was met by Clodius on horseback, who had with him 
some friends, and thirty slaves armed with swords. Milo's 
attendants were nearly ten times as numerous. It is not 
supposed by Asconius that either of the two men expected 
the meeting, which may be presumed to have been fortuitous. 
Milo and Clodius passed each other without words or blows, 
scowling no doubt ; but the two gladiators, who were at the 
end of the file of Milo's men, began to quarrel with certain 
of the followers of Clodius. Clodius interfered and was 
stabbed in the shoulder by Birria. Then he was carried to a 
neighbouring tavern while the fight was in progress. Milo 
having heard that his enemy was there concealed, thinking 
that he would be greatly relieved in his career by the death 
of such a foe, and that the risk should be run though the 
consequences might be grave, caused Clodius to be dragged 
out from the tavern and slaughtered. On what grounds 
Aseonius has attributed these probable thoughts to Milo we 
do not know. That the order was given the jury believed, or 
at any rate affected to believe. 

Up to this moment Milo was no more guilty than Clodius, 
and neither of them probably guilty of more than their usual 
violence. Partisans on the two sides endeavoured to show 
that each had prepared an ambush for the other ; but there 


is no evidence that it was so. There is no evidence existing 
now as to this dragging out of Clodius that he might be 
murdered; but we know what was the general opinion of 
Koine at the time and we may conclude that it was right. 
The order probably was given by Milo, as it would have 
been given by Clodius in similar circumstances, at the 
spur of the moment, when Milo allowed his passion to get 
the better of his judgment. 

The thirty servants of Clodius were either killed or had 
run away and hidden themselves, when a certain senator, 
S. Tedius, .coming the way, found the dead body on the road 
and carrying it into the city on a litter deposited it in the 
dead man's house. Before nightfall the death of Clodius 
was known through the city and the body was surrounded 
by a crowd of citizens of the lower order and of slaves. 
With them was Fulvia, the widow, exposing the dead man's 
wounds and exciting the people to sympathy. On the 
morrow there was an increased crowd, among whom were 
Senators and Tribunes, and the body was carried out into the 
Forum and the people were harangued by the Tribunes as to 
the horror of the deed that had been done. From thence 
the body was borne into the neighbouring Senate-house l by 
the crowd, under the leading of Sextus Clodius, a cousin of the 
dead man. Here it was burned with a great fire fed with the 
desks and benches and even with the books and archives 
which were stored there. Not only was the Senate-house 
destroyed by the flames, but a temple also that was close to it. 

1 The Curia Hostilia, in which the Senate sat frequently, though by no 
means always. 

MILO. 71 

Milo's house was attacked and was defended by arms. We 
are made to understand that all Home was in a state of 
violence and anarchy. The Consuls' fasces had been put away 
in one of the temples, that of Venus Libitina. These the 
people seized and carried to the house of Pompey, declaring 
that he should be Dictator and he alone Consul, mingling 
anarchy with a marvellous reverence for legal forms. 

But there arose in the city a feeling of great anger at the 
burning of the Senate-house, which for a while seemed to 
extinguish the sympathy for Clodius, so that Milo, who was 
supposed to have taken himself off, came back to Eome and 
renewed his canvass, distributing bribes to all the citizens, 
" inillia assuum," perhaps something over ten pounds, to 
every man. Both he and Cselius harangued the people, and 
declared that Clodius had begun the fray. But no Consuls 
could be elected while the city was in such a state, and 
Pompey, having been desired to protect the Republic in the 
usual form, collected troops from all Italy. Preparations 
were made for trying Milo, and the friends of each party 
demanded that the slaves of the other party should be put to 
the torture and examined as witnesses. But every possible 
impediment and legal quibble was used by the advocates on 
either side. Hortensius, who was engaged for Milo, declared 
that Milo's slaves had all been made free men and could not 
be touched. Stories were told backwards and forwards of the 
cruelty and violence on each side. Milo made an offer to 
Pompey to abandon his canvass in favour of Hypsseus, if 
Pompey would accept this as a compromise. Pompey 
answered with the assumed dignity that was common to 


him that he was not the Eoman people, and that it was not 
for him to interfere. 

It was then that Pompey was created sole Consul at the 
instigation of Bibulus. He immediately caused a new law 
to be passed for the management of the trial which was 
coming on, and when he was opposed in this by Cselius 
declared that if necessary he would carry his purpose by force 
of arms. Pretending to be afraid of Milo's violence he re- 
mained at home and on one occasion dismissed the Senate. 
Afterwards when Milo entered the Senate, he was accused by 
a Senator present of having come thither with arms hidden 
beneath his toga ; -whereupon he lifted his toga and showed 
that there were none. Asconius tells us that upon this 
Cicero declared that all the other charges made against the 
accused were equally false. This is the first word of Cicero's 
known to us in the matter. 

Two or three men declared that because they had been 
present at the death of Clodius they had been kidnapped and 
kept close prisoners by Milo ; and the story, whether true or 
false, did Milo much harm. It seems that Milo became again 
very odious to the people, and that their hatred was for the 
time extended to Cicero as Milo's friend and proposed advocate. 
Pompey seems to have shared the feeling and to have declared 
that violence was contemplated against himself. " But such 
was Cicero's constancy," says Asconius, "that neither the 
alienation of the people, nor the suspicions of Pompey, no fear 
of what might befall himself at the trial, no dread of the arms 
which were used openly against Milo, could hinder him from 
going on with the defence, although it was within his power 

HILO. 73 

to avoid the quarrel with the people and to renew his 
friendship for Pompey by abstaining from it." Domitius 
^Enobarbus was chosen as President and the others elected 
as judges were, we are told, equally good men. Milo was 
accused both of violence and bribery, but was able to arrange 
that the former case should be tried first. The method of 
the trial is explained. Fifty-one judges or jurymen were at 
last chosen. Schola was the first witness examined, and he 
exaggerated as best he could the horror of the murder. 
When Marcellus, as advocate for Milo, began to examine 
Schola the people were so violent that the President was 
forced to protect Marcellus by taking him within the 
barrier of the judge's seat. Milo also was obliged to demand 
protection within the court. Pompey, then sitting at 
the Treasury and frightened by the clamour, declared that 
he himself would come down with troops on the next day. 
After the hearing of the evidence the Tribune Munatius 
Plancus harangued the people and begged them to come in 
great numbers on the morrow so that Milo might not be 
allowed to escape. On the following day, which was the 
llth of April, all the taverns were shut. Pompey filled the 
Forum and every approach to it with his soldiers. He him- 
self remained seated at the Treasury as before, surrounded 
by a picked body of men. At the trial on this day, when 
three of the advocates against Milo had spoken, Appius, Marc 
Antony, and Valerius Nepos, Cicero stood up to defend the 
criminal. Brutus had prepared an oration declaring that the 
killing of Clodius was in itself a good deed, and praiseworthy 
on behalf of the Republic ; but to this speech Cicero refused 


his consent, arguing that a man could not legally be killed 
simply because his death was to be desired, and Brutus 's 
speech was not spoken. Witnesses had declared that Milo 
had lain in wait for Clodius. This Cicero alleged to be false, 
contending that Clodius had lain in wait for Milo, and he 
endeavoured to make this point and no other. But it is 
proved, says Asconius, that neither of the men had any design 
of violence on that day ; that they met by -chance, and that 
the killing of Clodius had come from the quarrelling of the 
slaves. It was well known that each had often threatened 
the death of the other. Milo's slaves had no doubt been 
much more numerous than those of Clodius when the meet- 
ing took place ; but those of Clodius had been very much 
better prepared for fighting. When Cicero began to address 
the judges, the partisans of Clodius could not be induced to 
abstain from riot even by fear of the soldiery; so that he 
was unable to speak with his accustomed firmness. 

Such is the account as given by Ascouius, who goes on to 
tell us that out of the fifty-one judges thirty-eight condemned 
Milo and only thirteen were for acquitting him. Milo there- 
fore was condemned and had to retire at once into exile at 

It seems to have been acknowledged by the judges that 
Clodius had not been wounded at first by any connivance on 
the part of Milo ; but they thought that Milo did direct that 
Clodius should be killed during the fight which the slaves had 
commenced among themselves. As far as we can take any 
interest in the matter we must suppose that it was so ; but 
we are forced to agree with Brutus that the killing of Clodius 

MILO. 75 

was in itself a good deed done, and we have to acknowledge 
at the same time that the killing of Milo would have been as 
good. Though we may doubt as to the manner in which 
Clodius was killed there are points in the matter as to which 
we may be quite assured. Milo was condemned, not for 
killing Clodius, but because he was opposed at the moment 
to the line of politics which Pompey thought would be most 
conducive to his own interests. Milo was condemned and 
the death of the wretched Clodius avenged, because Pompey 
had desired Hypsseus to be Consul and Milo had dared to 
stand in his way. An audience was refused to Cicero, 
not from any sympathy with Clodius, but because it suited 
Pompey that Milo should be condemned. Could Cicero have 
spoken the words which afterwards were published the jury 
might have hesitated and the criminal might have been ac- 
quitted. Csesar was absent and Pompey found himself again 
lifted into supreme power for a moment. Though no one in 
Eome had insulted Pompey as Clodius had done, though no 
one had so fought for Pompey as Cicero had done, still it 
suited Pompey to avenge Clodius and to punish Cicero for 
having taken Milo's part in regard to the Consulship. Milo 
after his condemnation for the death of Clodius was con- 
demned in three subsequent trials, one following the other 
almost instantly, for bribery, for secret conspiracy, and again 
for violence in the city. He was absent, but there was no 
difficulty in obtaining his conviction. When he was gone 
one Saufeius, a friend of his, who had been with him during 
the tumult, was put upon his trial for his share in the death 
of Clodius. He at any rate was known to have been guilty 


in the matter. He had been leader of the party who attacked 
the tavern, had killed the tavern-keeper, and had dragged 
out Clodius to execution. But Saufeius was twice acquitted. 
Had there been any hope of law-abiding tranquillity in Eome 
it might have been well that Clodius should be killed and 
Milo banished. As it was neither the death of the one nor 
the banishment of the other could avail anything. The pity 
of it was, the pity, that such a one as Cicero, a man with 
such intellect, such ambition, such sympathies, and such 
patriotism, should have been brought to fight on such 
an arena. 

We have in this story a graphic and most astounding 
B c 52 pi c t ure f the Borne of the day. No Consuls had 
setat. 55. |. )eeil or cou ]^ k e e i ec ted, and the system by 

which " interreges " had been enabled to superintend the 
election of their successors in lieu of the Consuls of the 
expiring year had broken down. Pompey had been made 
sole Consul in an informal manner, and had taken upon 
himself all the authority of a Dictator in levying troops. 
Power in Eome seems at the moment to have been shared 
between him and bands of gladiators ; but he too had suc- 
ceeded in arming himself, and as the Clodian faction was on 
his side he was, for a while, supreme. For law by this time 
he could have but little reverence having been partner with 
Csesar in the so-called Triumvirate for the last eight years. 
But yet he had no aptitude for throwing the law altogether 
on one side and making such a "coup de main" as was 
now and again within his power. Beyond Pompey there 
was at this time no power in Romp, except that of the 

MILO. 77 

gladiators and the owners of the gladiators who were each 
intent on making plunder out of the empire. There were 
certain men such as were Bibulus and Cato who considered 
themselves to be "optimates," leading citizens who believed 
in the Eepublic, and were no doubt anxious to maintain the 
established order of things, as we may imagine the dukes 
and earls are anxious in these days of ours. But they were 
impotent and bad men of business, and as a body, were too 
closely wedded to their "fishponds," by which Cicero 
means their general luxuries and extravagances. In the 
bosoms of these men there was no doubt an eager desire to 
perpetuate a Eepublic which had done so much for them, 
and a courage sufficient for the doing of some great deed, 
if the great deed would come in their way. They went 
to Pharsalia and Cato marched across the deserts of Libya. 
They slew Caesar, and did some gallant righting afterwards. 
But they were like a rope of sand and had among them no 
fitting leader and no high purpose. 

Outside of these was Cicero, who certainly was not a 
fitting leader when fighting was necessary and who as to 
politics in general was fitted rather by noble aspirations 
than supported by fixed purposes. We are driven to wonder 
that there should have been at such a period, and among 
such a people, aspirations so noble joined with so much 
vanity of expression. Among Eomans he stands the highest, 
because of all Komans he was the least Eoman. He had 
begun with high resolves and had acted up to them. Among 
all the Quaestors, ^Ediles, Praetors and Consuls Eome had 
known, none had been better, none honester, none more 


patriotic. There had come up suddenly in those days a 
man imbued with the unwonted idea that it behoved him 
to do his duty to the state according to the best of his 
lights; no Cincinuatus, no Decius, no Camillus, no Scipio, 
no pretentious follower of those half mythic heroes, no 
demigod struggling to walk across the stage of life enveloped 
in his toga and resolved to impose on all eyes by the 
assumption of a divine dignity, but one who at every turn 
was conscious of his human duty and anxious to do it to 
the best of his human ability. He did it ; and we have 
to acknowledge that the conceit of doing it overpowered him. 
He mistook the feeling of people around him, thinking that 
they too would be carried away by their admiration of his 
conduct. Up to the day on which he descended from his 
Consul's seat duty was paramount with him. Then gradually 
there came upon him conviction that the duty, though it 
had been paramount with him, did not weigh so very 
much with others. He had been lavish in his worship of 
Pompey thinking that Pompey, whom he had believed in 
his youth to be the best of citizens, would of all men be 
the truest to the Republic. Pompey had deceived him, but 
he could not suddenly give up his idol. Gradually we 
see that there fell upon him a dread that the great Roman 
Republic was not the perfect institution which he had 
fancied. In his early days Chrysogonus had been base, 
and Verres, and Oppianicus, and Catiline ; but still, to his 
idea, the body of the Roman Republic had been sound. But 
when he had gone out from his Consulship, with resolves, 
strung too high that he would remain at Rome, despising 

MILO. 79 

provinces and plunder and be as it were a special pro- 
vidence to the Eepublic, gradually he fell from his high 
purpose finding that there were no Eomans such as he had 
conceived them to be. Then he fell away and became the 
man who could condescend to waste his unequalled intellect 
in attacking Piso, in praising himself, and in defending 
Milo. The glory of his active life was over when his 
Consulship was done, the glory was over with the ex- 
ception of that to come from his final struggle with Antony. 
But the work by which his immortality was to be achieved 
was yet before him. I think that after defending Milo he 
must have acknowledged to himself that all partisan fighting 
in Rome was mean ignoble and hollow. With the Senate- 
house and its archives burned as a funeral pile for Clodius, 
and the forum in which he had to plead lined with soldiers 
who stopped him by their clang of arms instead of protecting 
him in his speech, it must have been acknowledged by 
Cicero that the old Eepublic was dead, past all hope of 
resurrection. He had said so often to Atticus ; but men say 
words in the despondency of the moment, which they do not 
wish to have accepted as their established conviction. In 
such humour Cicero had written to his friend ; but now it 
must have occurred to him that his petulant expressions 
were becoming only too true. When instigating Curio to 
canvass for Milo and defending Milo as though it had been 
a good thing for a Roman nobleman to travel in the 
neighbourhood of the city with an army at his heels, 
he must have ceased to believe even in himself as a Roman 


In the oration which we possess, which we must teach 
ourselves to regard as altogether different from that which 
Cicero had been able to pronounce among Pompey's soldiers 
and the Clodian rabble, the reader is astonished by the 
magnificence of the language in which a case so bad in itself, 
could be enveloped, and is made to feel that had he been 
on the jury and had such an address been made to him, he 
would certainly have voted for an acquittal. The guilt or 
innocence of Milo as to the murder really turned on the 
point whether he did or did not direct that Clodius should 
be dragged out of the tavern and slain ; but here in this 
oration, three points are put forward in each of which it 
was within the scope of the orator to make the jury believe 
that Clodius had in truth prepared an ambuscade, that 
Clodius was of all Eomans the worst>.and that Milo was loyal 
and true, and in spite of a certain fierceness of disposition, 
a good citizen at heart. We agree with Milo who declared, 
when banished, that he would never have been able to enjoy 
the fish of Marseilles had Cicero spoken in the forum the 
speech which he afterwards composed. 

" I would not remind you," he says, " of Milo's Tribune- 
ship nor of all his service to the state, unless I could make 
plain to you as daylight the ambush which on that day 
was laid for him by his enemy. I will not pray you to 
forgive a crime simply because Milo has been a good citizen ; 
nor, because the death of Clodius has been a blessing to 
us all will I therefore ask you to regard it as a deed worthy 
of praise. But if the fact of the ambush be absolutely 
made evident, then I beseech you at any rate to grant that 

MILO. 81 

a man may lawfully defend himself from the arrogance and 
from the arms of his enemies." 1 From this may be seen 1 
the nature of the arguments used. For the language the 
reader must turn to the original. That it will be worth 
his while to do so he has the evidence of all critics, 
especially that of Milo when he was eating sardines in his 
exile and of Quintilian when he was preparing his lessons 
on rhetoric. It seems that Cicero had been twitted with 
using something of a dominating tyranny in the Senate ; 
which would hardly have been true, as the prevailing in- 
fluence of the moment was that of Pompey ; but he throws 
aside the insinuation very grandly. " Call it tyranny if 
you please, if you think it that, rather than some little 
authority which has grown from my services to the State, 
or some favour among good men because of my rank. Call 
it what you will, while I am able to use it for the defence 
of the good against the violence of the evil-minded." 2 Then 
he describes the fashion in which these two men travelled 
on the occasion, the fashion of travelling as it suited him to 
describe it. " If you did not hear the details of the story, 
but could see simply a picture of all that occurred, would it 
not appear which of them had planned the attack, which 
of them was ignorant of all evil ? One of them was seated 
in his carriage clad in his cloak and with his wife beside 
him. His garments, his clients, his companions, all show 
how little prepared he was for fighting. Then as to the 
other, why was he leaving his country house so suddenly ? 

1 Ca. ii. 2 Ca. v. 



Why should he do this so late in the evening ? Why did 

he travel so slowly at this time of the year? He was 

going, he says, to Pompey's villa. Not that he might see 

Pompey, because he knew that Pompey was at Alsium. 

Did he want to see the villa? He had been there a 

thousand times. Why all this delay and turning backwards 

and forwards? Because he would not leave the spot till 

Milo had come up. And now compare this ruffian's mode 

of travelling with that of Milo. It has been the constant 

custom with Clodius to have his wife with him, but now 

she was not there. He has always been in a carriage ; but 

now he was on horseback. His young Greek Sybarites have 

ever been with him, even when he went as far as Tuscany. 

On this occasion there were no such trifles in his company. 

Milo, with whom such companions were not usual, had 

his wife's singing boys with him and a bevy of female 

slaves. Clodius who usually never moved without a crowd 

of prostitutes at his heels now had no one with him but 

men picked for this work in hand." 1 What a picture we 

have here of the manners in which noble Romans were 

wont to move about the city and the suburbs ! We may 

imagine that the singing boys of Milo's wife were quite 

as bad as the Greek attendants in whom CJodius usually 

rejoiced. Then he asks a question as to Pompey full of 

beautiful irony. If Pompey could bring back Clodius from 

the dead, Pompey who is so fond of him, Pompey who 

is so powerful, so fortunate, so capable of all things, Pompey 

1 Ca. xx. and xxi. 

MILO. 83 

who would be so glad to do it because of his love for the 
man, do you not know that on behalf of the Republic he 
would leave him down among the ghosts where he is ? l 
There is a delightful touch of satire in this when we 
remember how odious Clodius had been to Pompey in 
days not long gone by, and how insolent. 

The oration is ended by histrionic effects in language 
which would have been marvellous had they ever been 
spoken, but which seem to be incredible to us when we 
know that they were arranged for publication when the 
affair was over. " me wretched ! me unhappy ! " 2 
But these attempts at translation are all vain. The student 
who wishes to understand what may be the effect of Latin 
words thrown into this choicest form should read the 

We have very few letters from Cicero in this year, four 
only I think, and they are of no special moment. In one 
of them he recommends Avianus to Titus Titius, a Lieu- 
tenant then serving under Pompey. 3 In this he is very 
anxious to induce Titius to let Avianus know all the good 
things that Cicero had said of him. In our times we 
sometimes send our letters of introduction open by the 
hands of the person introduced, so that he may himself 

1 Ca. xxix. 

2 Ca. xxxvii. " me miserum ! me infelicem ! revocare tu me in 
patriam, Milo, potuisti per hos. Ego te in patria per eosdem retincre non 
potero ! " By the aid of such citizens as these, he says, pointing to the 
judge's bench, you were able to restore me to my country. Shall I not 
by the same aid restore you to yours * 

3 Ad Fam. lib. xiii. 75. 


read his own praise ; but the Eomans did not scruple to 
ask that this favour might be done for them. "Do me this 
favour, Titius, of being kind to Avianus ; but do me also 
the greater favour of letting Avianus know that I have 
asked you." What Cicero did to Titius other noble Eomans 
did in their communications with their friends in the 
provinces. In another letter to Marius he expresses his 
great joy at the condemnation of that Munatius Plancus 
who had been Tribune when Clodius was killed. Plancus 
had harangued the people, exciting them against Milo and 
against Cicero, and had led to the burning of the Senate- 
house and of the temple next door. For this Plancus 
could not be accused during his year of office, but he had 
been put upon his trial when that year was over. Pompey 
had done his best to save him, but in vain ; and Cicero 
rejoices not only that the Tribune who had opposed him 
should be punished, but that Pompey should have been 
beaten, which he attributes altogether to the favour shown 
towards himself by the jury. 1 He is aroused to true 
exaltation that there should have been men on the bench 
who having been chosen by Pompey in order that they 
might acquit this man had dared to condemn him. Cicero 
had himself spoken against Plancus on the occasion. Sextus 
Clodius who had been foremost among the rioters was also 

This was the year in which Caesar was so nearly con- 

1 Ad Fam. lib. vii. 2. In primisque me delectavit tantum studium bonorum 
in me exstitisse coiitra incredibilem contentionem clarissimi et potentiasimi 

MILO. 85 

quered by the Gauls at Gergovia and in which Vercin- 
B c 52 g e ^ or i x having shut himself up in Alesia was over- 
aetat. 55. come a t } as t by th e cru el strategy of the Eomans. 
The brave Gaul who had done his best to defend his 
country and had carried himself to the last with a fine 
gallantry, was kept by his conqueror six years in chains 
and then strangled amidst the glories of that conqueror's 
triumph, a signal instance of the mercy which has been 
attributed to Caesar as his special virtue. In this year, 
too, Cicero's dialogues with Atticus " De Legibus " were 
written. He seems to have disturbed his labours in the 
Forum with no other work. 



WE cannot but think that at this time the return of 
B c 51 Caesar was greatly feared at Eome by the party in 
uetat. 56. the g tate to w hi cn Cicero belonged. And this party 
must now be understood as including Pompey. Pompey 
had been nominally Proconsul in Spain since the year of his 
second Consulship, conjointly with Crassus, B.C. 55 ; but 
had. remained in Rome and had taken upon himself the 
management of Roman affairs, considering himself to be the 
master of the irregular powers which the Triumvirate had 
created. And of this party was also Cicero, with Cato, 
Bibulus, Brutus and all those who were proud to call them- 
selves " optimates." They were now presumed to be desirous 
to maintain the old Republican form of government, and 
were anxious with more or less sincerity according to the 
character of the men. Cato and Brutus were thoroughly in 
earnest, not seeing however, that the old form might be 
utterly devoid of the old spirit. Pompey was disposed to 
take the same direction, thinking that all must be well in 
Rome as long as he was possessed of high office, grand 
names, and the appanages of dictatorship. Cicero too was 
anxious, loyally anxious, but anxious without confidence. 

C I LIC I A. 87 

Something might perhaps be saved if these optimates could 
be aroused to some idea of their duty by the exercise of 
eloquence such as his own. 

I will quote a few words from Mr. Froude' s Caesar. " If 
Caesar came to Home as Consul the Senate knew too well 
what it might expect," and then he adds ; " Cicero had 
for some time seen what was coming." x As to these 
assertions I quite agree with Mr. Froude. But I think that 
he has read wrongly both the history of the time and the 
character of the man when he goes on to state that " Cicero 
preferred characteristically to be out of the way at the 
moment when he expected that the storm should break, and 
had accepted the government of Cilicia and Cyprus." All 
the known details of Cicero's life up to the period of his 
government of Cilicia, during his government, and after 
his return from that province, prove that he was character- 
istically wedded to a life in Rome. This he declared 
by his distaste to that employment and his impatience of 
return while he was absent. Nothing, I should say, 
could be more certain than that he went to Cilicia in 
obedience to new legal enactments which he could not 
avoid but which as they acted upon himself were 
odious to him. Mr. Froude tells us that he held the 
government but for two years. 2 The period of these pro- 
vincial governments had of late much varied. The acknow- 
ledged legal duration was for one year. They had been 
stretched by the governing party to three, as in the case 

1 Csesar, a Sketch, p. 336. 2 Ibid. p. 341. 


of Verres in Sicily, to five as with Pompey for his Spanish 
government, to ten for Caesar in Gaul. This had been done 
with the view of increasing the opportunities for plunder 
and power, but had been efficacious of good in enabling 
governors to carry out work for which one year would not 
have sufficed. It may be a question whether Cicero as 
Proconsul in Cilicia deserved blame for curtailing the period 
of his services to the empire, or praise for abstaining from 
plunder and power ; but the fact is that he remained in his 
province not two years but exactly one j 1 and that he escaped 
from it with all the alacrity which we may presume to be 
expected by a prisoner when the bars of his jail have been 
opened for him. Whether we blame him or praise him we 
can hardly refrain from feeling that his impatience was 
grotesque. There certainly was no desire on Cicero's part 
either to go to Cilicia or to remain there, and of all his 
feelings that which prompted him never to be far absent 
from Eome was the most characteristic of the man. 

Among various laws which Pompey had caused to be 
passed in the previous year B.C. 52, and which had been 
enacted with views personal to himself and his own political 
views, had been one " de jure magistratuum" as to the way 
in which the magistrates of the Empire should be selected. 
Among other clauses it contained one which declared that 
no Praetor and no Consul should succeed to a province till 

1 He reached Laodicea an inland town on July 31, B.C. 51, and embarked 
as far as we can tell at Sida on August 3, B.C. 50. It may be doubted 
whether any Eoman governor got to the end of his year's government with 
greater despatch. 


lie had been five years out of office. It would be useless 
here to point out how absolutely subversive of the old system 
of the Republic this new law would have been, had the new 
law and the old system attempted to live together. The 
Propraetor would have been forced to abandon his aspirations 
either for the Province or for the Consulship, and no consular 
Governor would have been eligible for a province, till after 
his fiftieth year. But at this time Pompey was both Consul 
and Governor, and Csesar was Governor for ten years with 
special exemption from another clause in the law which 
would otherwise have forbidden him to stand again for 
the Consulship during his absence. 1 The law was wanted 
probably only for the moment ; but it had the effect of 
forcing Cicero out of Eome. As there would naturally come 
from it a dearth of candidates for the provinces it was further 
decreed by the Senate that the ex-Praetors and ex-Consuls 
who had not yet served as governors should now go forth 
and undertake the duties of government. In compliance 
with this order, and probably as a specially intended con- 
sequence of it, Cicero was compelled to go to Cilicia. Mr. 
Froude has said that " he preferred characteristically to be 
out of the way." I have here given what I think to be 
the more probable cause of his undertaking the government 
of Cilicia. 

1 No exemption was made for Caesar in Pompey's law as it originally stood ; 
and after the law had been inscribed as usual on a bronze tablet it was altered 
at Pompey's order, so as to give Ctesar the. privilege. Pompey pleaded for- 
getfulness, but the change was probably forced upon him by Caesar's influence. 
Suetonius, J. Caesar, xxviii. 


In April of this year Cicero before he ^started wrote the 
first of a series of letters which he addressed to Appius 
Claudius who was his predecessor in the province. This 
B(J gl Appius was the brother of the Publius Clodius 
8Btatl 5 - whom we have known for the last two or three 
years as Cicero's pest and persecutor. But he addresses 
Appius as though they were dear friends. "Since it has 
coine to pass, in opposition to all my wishes and to my 
expectations, that I must take in hand the government 
of a province I have this one consolation in my various 
troubles, that no better friend to yourself than I am could 
follow you, and that I could take up the government from 
the hands of none more disposed to make the business 
pleasant to me than you will be." ' And then he goes on ; 
" You perceive that in accordance with the decree of the 
Senate the province has to be occupied." His next letter on 
the subject was written to Atticus while he was still in 
Italy but when he had started on his journey. " In your 
farewell to me," he says, " I have seen the nature of your 
love to me. I know well what is my own for you. It must 
then be your peculiar care to see lest by any new arrange- 
ment this parting of ours should be prolonged beyond one 
year." 2 Then he goes on to tell the story of a scene that 
had occurred at Arcanum, a house belonging to his brother 
Quintus at which he had stopped on the road for a family 
farewell. Pomponia was there, the wife of Quintus and 
the sister to Atticus. There were a few words between the 

1 Ad Div. lib. iii. 2. 2 Ad Att. lib. v. 1. 


husband and the wife as to the giving of the invitation for 
the occasion, in which the lady behaved with much Christian 
perversity of temper. " Alas," says Quintus to his brother, 
" you see what it is that I have to suffer every day." Know- 
ing as we all do how great were the powers of the Eoman 
Paterfamilias, and how little woman's rights had been 
ventilated in those days, we should have thought that an 
ex-Prsetor might have managed his home more comfortably. 
But ladies no doubt have had the capacity to make 
themselves disagreeable in all ages. 

I doubt whether we have any testimony whatever as to 
Cicero's provincial government except that which comes from 
himself and which is confined to the letters written by him 
at the time. 1 Nevertheless we have a clear record of his 
doings, so full and satisfactory are the letters which he then 
wrote. The truth of his account of himself has never been 
questioned. He draws a picture of his own integrity, his 
own humanity, and his own power of administration which 
is the more astonishing because we cannot but compare it 
with the pictures which we have from the same hand of the 
rapacity, the cruelty and the tyranny of other governors. 
We have gone on learning from his speeches and his letters 
that these were habitual plunderers,, tyrants, and malefactors, 
till we are taught to acknowledge that in the low condition 

1 Abeken points out to us iu dealing with the year in which Cicero's govern- 
ment came to an end, B.C. 50, that Cato's letters to Cicero (Ad Fam. 
lib. xv. 5) bear irrefutable testimony as to the real greatness of Cicero. See 
the translation edited by Merivale, p. 235. This applies to his conduct in 
Cilicia, and may thus be taken as evidence outside his own, though addressed 
to himself. 


to which Koman nature had fallen, it was useless to expect 
any other conduct from a Eoman Governor ; and then he 
gives us the account of how a man did govern, when, as by a 
miracle, a governor had been found honest, clear-headed, 
sympathetic, and benevolent. That man was himself; and he 
gives this account of himself, as it were without a blush ! 
He tells the story of himself, not as though it was remark- 
able ! That other governors should grind the bones of their 
subjects to make bread of them, and draw the blood from 
their veins for drink ; but that Cicero should not condescend 
to take even the normal tribute when willingly offered, seems 
to Cicero to have been only what the world had a right to 
expect from him ! A wonderful testimony is this as to the 
man's character ; but, surely, the universal belief in his own 
account of his own governorship is more wonderful. " The 
conduct of Cicero in his command was meritorious," says De 
Quincey. " His short career as Proconsul in Cilicia had pro- 
cured for him well merited honour," says Dean Merivale. 1 
" He had managed his province well. No one ever suspected 
Cicero of being corrupt or unjust" says Mr. Froude, who 
had, however, said some pages before that Cicero was " think- 
ing as usual of himself first, and his duty afterwards." 2 Dio 
Cassius, who is never tired of telling disagreeable stories of 
Cicero's life, says not a word of his Cilician government, from 
which we may at any rate argue that no stories detrimental 
to Cicero as a Proconsul had come in the way of Dio 
Cassius. I have confirmed what I have said as to this episode 

1 The Roman Triumvirate, p. 107. 
8 Caesar, a Sketch, pp. 170 and 341. 


in Cicero's life by the corroborating testimony of writers who 
have not been generally favourable in their views of his 
character. Nevertheless we have no testimony but his own 
as to what Cicero did in Cilicia. 1 

It has never occurred to any reader of Cicero's letters to 
doubt a line in which he has spoken directly of his own 
conduct. His letters have often been used against himself, 
but in a different manner. He has been judged to give true 
testimony against himself, but not false testimony in his own 
favour. His own record has been taken sometimes as mean- 
ing what it has not meant, and sometimes as implying much 
more that the writer intended. A word which has required 
for its elucidation an insight into the humour of the man has 
been read amiss, or some trembling admissions to a friend of 
shortcoming in the purpose of the moment has been pre- 
sumed to refer to a continuity of weakness. He has been 
injured, not by having his own words as to himself dis- 
credited, but by having them too well credited where they 
have been misunderstood. It is at any rate the fact that his 
own account of his own Proconsular doings has been accepted 
in full and that the present reader may be encouraged to 
believe what extracts I may give to him by the fact that all 
other readers before him have believed them. 

From his villa at Curnse on his journey he wrote to 
Atticus in high spirits. Hortensius had been to see him, his 
old rival ; his old predecessor in the glory of the Forum, 
Hortensius whom he was fated never to see again. His only 

1 Professor Mommsen says no word of Cicero's government in Cilicia. 


request to Hortensius had been that he should assist in taking 
care that he, Cicero, should not be required to stay above one 
year in his province. Atticus is to help him also, and another 
friend Furnius, who may probably be the Tribune for the 
next year, has been canvassed for the same object. In a 
further letter from Beneventum he alludes to a third 
marriage for his daughter Tullia, but seems to be aware that 
as he is leaving Italy he cannot interfere in that matter him- 
self. He writes again from Venusia saying that he purports 
to see Pompey at Tarentum before he starts, and gives special 
instructions to Atticus as to the payment of a debt which is 
due by him to Csesar. He has borrowed money of Caasar and 
is specially anxious that the debt should be settled. In 
another letter from Tarentum he presses the same matter. 
He is anxious to be relieved from the obligation. 1 

1 I cannot but refer to Mommsen's account of this transaction, Book v. 
chap. viii. "Golden fetters were also laid upon him" Cicero. "Amidst 
the serious embarrassments of his finances the loans of Csesar free of interest 
.... were in a high degree welcome to him ; and many an immortal 
oration for the Senate was nipped in the bud by the thought that the 
agent of Caesar might present a bill to him after the close of the sitting." 
There are many assertions here for which I have looked in vain for the 
authority. I do not know that Cicero's finances were seriously embarrassed 
at the time. The evidence goes rather to show that they were not so. 
Had he ever taken more than one loan from Csesar '( I find nothing as 
to any question of interest ; but I imagine that Csesar treated Cicero as 
Cicero afterwards treated Pompey when he lent him money. We do not 
know whether even Crassus charged Ceesar interest. We may presume that 
a loan is always made welcome or the money would not be borrowed, but the 
"high degree of welcome" as applied to this especial loan ought to have 
some special justification. As to Cicero's anxiety in borrowing the money 
I know nottiing ; but he was very anxious to pay it. The borrowing and the 
lending of money between Roman noblemen was very common. No one had 

C 1C ILIA. 95 

From Athens he wrote again to his friend a letter which 
is chiefly remarkable as telling us something of the quarrel 
between Marcus Claudius Marcellus, who was one of the 
Consuls for the year, and Caesar who was still absent in 
Gaul. This Marcellus and others of his family who suc- 
ceeded him in his office, were hotly opposed to Caesar, 
belonging to that party of the State to which Cicero was 
attached and to which Pompey was returning. 1 It seems 
to have been the desire of the Consul not only to injure 
but to insult Caesar. He had endeavoured to get a decree 
of the Senate for recalling Caesar at once, but had succeeded 
only in having his proposition postponed for consideration 
in the following year, when Csesar would naturally return. 
But to show how little was his regard to Csesar he caused 
to be flogged in Rome a citizen from one of those towns 
of Cisalpine Gaul to which Caesar had assumed to give 
the privilege of Roman citizenship. The man was present 
as a delegate from his town, Novocomum, 2 the present 

ever borrowed so freely as Csesar had done. Cicero was a lender and a bor- 
rower, but I think that he wus never seriously embarrassed. What oration 
was nipped in the bud by fear of his creditor? He had lately spoken twice 
forSaufeius, once against S. Clodius, and against Plancus, in each case oppos- 
ing the view of Csesar as far as Caesar had views on the matter. The sum 
borrowed on this occasion was 800,000 sesterces, between 6,0002. and 7,OOOZ. 
A small additional sum of 100Z. is mentioned in one of the letters to Atticus, 
lib. v. 5. , which is, however, spoken of by Cicero as forming one whole with 
the other. I can hardly think that Mommsen had this in view when he spoke 
of loans in. the plural number. 

1 M. C. Marcellus was Consul B.C. 51. His brother, C. Claudius Marcellus 
was Consul B.C. 50. Another C. Claudius Marcellus, a cousin, in B.C. 49. 

2 Mommsen calls him a "respected Senator." M. De Guerle in his pre- 
face to the oration Pro Marcello claims for him the position of a delegate. 


Como, in furtherance of the Colony's claims, and the Con- 
sul had the man flogged to show thereby that he was not 
a Eoman. Marcellus was punished for his insolence by 
banishment, inflicted by Ceesar when Ctesar was powerful. 
We shall learn before long how Cicero made an oration 
in his favour; but in the letter written from Athens, he 
blames Marcellus much for flogging the man. 1 " Fight in 
my behalf," he says in the course of this letter, " for if 
my government be prolonged, I shall fail and become mean.' 
The idea of absence from Eome is intolerable to him. From 
Athens also he wrote to his young friend Caelius from whom 
he had requested information as to what was going on in Eome. 
But Cselius has to be again instructed as to the nature of the 
subjects which are to be regarded as interesting. " What ! 
do you think that I have asked you to send me stories of 
gladiators, lawcourt adjournments, and the pilferings of 
Christus, trash that no one would think of mentioning to 
me if I were in Eome." 2 But he does not finish his letter 
to Cselius without begging Cselius to assist in bringing about 
his speedy recal. Cselius troubles him much afterwards by 
renewed requests for Cilician panthers wanted for ^Edilian 
shows. Cicero becomes very seasick on his journey, and 
then reaches Ephesus, in Asia Minor, dating his arrival there 

He was probably both, though we may doubt whether he was "respected" 
after his flogging. 

1 Ad Att. lib. v. 11. " Marcellus foede in Comensi," and he goes on to say 
that even if the man had been no magistrate, and therefore not entitled 
to full Roman treatment, yet he was a Transalpine and therefore not subject 
to the scourge. See Mr. Watson's note in his "Select Letters." 

2 Ad Div. lib. ii. 8. 

C I LIC I A. 97 

on the five hundred and sixtieth day from the battle of 
Bovilla, showing how much the contest as to Milo still 
clung to his thoughts. 1 Ephesus was not in his province, 
but at Ephesus all the magistrates came out to do him 
honour, as though he had come among them as their governor. 
''Now has arrived," he says, "the time to justify all those 
declarations which I have made as to my own conduct. But 
I trust I can practise the lessons which I have learned from 
you." Atticus in his full admiration of his friend's character 
had doubtless said much to encourage and to instigate the 
virtue which it was Cicero's purpose to employ. We have 
none of the words ever written by Atticus to Cicero, but 
we have light enough to show us that the one friend was 
keenly alive to the honour of the other and thoroughly 
appreciated its beauty. " Do not let me be more than a 
year away," he exclaims. " Do not let even another month 
be added." 2 Then there is a letter from Caelius praying 
for panthers. 3 In passing through the province of Asia to 
his own province, he declares that the people everywhere 
receive him well. " My coming," he says, " has cost no man 
a shilling.* His whole staff has now joined him except 
one Tullius whom he speaks of as a friend of Atticus, but 
afterwards tells us had come to him from Titinius. Then 
he again enjoins Atticus to have that money paid to Csesar. 
From Trail es, still in the province of Asia, he writes to Appius 

1 Ad Att. ib. v. 13. 

2 Ibid. " Quseso ut simus annui ; ne intercaletur quidem." It might be 
that an intercalary month should be added and cause delay. 

3 Ad Div. lib. viii. 2. " Ut tibi curse sit quod ad pantheras attinet." 

4 Ad Att. lib. v. 14. 



the outgoing Governor, a letter full of courtesies and ex- 
pressing an anxious desire for a meeting. He had offered 
before to go by any route which might suit Appius, but 
Appius as appears afterwards was anxious for anything 
rather than to encounter the new Governor within the 
province he was leaving. 1 

On 31st July he reached Laodicea, within his own bound- 
aries, having started on his journey on 10th May, and found 
all people glad to see him ; but the little details of his office 
harass him sadly. " The action of my mind which you know 
so well cannot find space enough. All work worthy of my 
industry is at an end. I have to preside at Laodicea, while 

some Plotius is giving judgment at Rome And then 

am I not regretting at every moment the life of Eome ; the 
forum, the city itself, my own house ? Am I not always re- 
gretting you ? 1 will endeavour to bear it for a year ; but 
if it be prolonged, then it will be all over with me." " You 
ask me how I am getting on. I am spending a fortune in 
carrying out this grand advice of yours. I like it hugely ; 
but when the time comes for paying you your debts I 
shall have to renew the bill." "To make me do such 
work as this is putting a saddle upon a cow ; " cutting 
a block with a razor as we should say, " Clearly I am 
not made for it. But I will bear it, so that it be only for 
one year." 2 

From Laodicea a town in Phrygia he went west to Synnada. 
His province known as Cilicia contained the districts named 

1 Ad Div. lib. iii. 5. * At Att. lib. v. 15. 


on the map of Asia Minor as Phrygia, Pisidia, Pamphylia, 
part of Cappadocia, Cilicia and the island of Cyprus. He 
soon found that his predecessors had ruined the people. 
"Know that I have come into a province utterly and for 
ever destroyed," he says to Atticus. 1 " We hear only of 
taxes that cannot be paid, of men's chattels sold on all 
sides, of the groans from the cities, of lamentations, of 
horrors such as some wild beast might have produced rather 
than a human being. There is no room for question. Every 
man is tired of his life. And yet some relief is given now ; 
because of me, and by my officers, and by my lieutenants. 
No expense is imposed on any one. We do not take even 
the hay which is allowed by the Juliau law; not even 
the wood. Four beds to lie on is all we accept, and a roof 
over our heads. In many places not even that, for we live 
in our tents. Enormous crowds therefore come to us, and 
return as it were to life through the justice and moderation 
of your Cicero. Appius, when he knew that I was come, 
ran away to Tarsus, the furthest point of the province." 
What a picture we have here of the state of a Roman 
dependency under a normal Eoman governor, and of the 
good which a man could do who was able to abstain from 
plunder ! In his next letter his pride expresses itself so 
loudly that we have to remember that this man after 
all is writing only his own secret thoughts to his 
bosom friend. " If I can get away from this quickly 
the honours which will accrue to me from my justice will 

1 Ad At. lib. v. 16. 

H 2 


lie all the greater, as happened to Scsevola, who was 
Governor in Asia only for nine months." 1 Then again he 
declares how Appius had escaped into the furthest corner 
of the province, to Tarsus, when he knew that Cicero 
was coming. 

He writes again to Appius complaining. " When I compare 
my conduct to yours," he says, "I own that I much prefer 
my own." 2 He had taken every pains to meet Appius in a 
manner convenient to him, but had been deceived on every 
side. Appius had, in a way unusual among Eoman Governors, 
carried on his authority in remote parts of the province, 
although he had known of his successor's arrival. Cicero 
assures him that he is quite indifferent to this. If Appius 
will relieve him of one month's labour out of the twelve 
he will be delighted. But why has Appius taken away three 
of the fullest cohorts, seeing that in the entire province the 
number of soldiers left has been so small ? But he assures 
Appius that as he makes his journey neither good nor bad 
shall hear evil spoken by him of his predecessor. "But 
as for you, you seem to have given to the dishonest reasons 
for thinking badly of me." Then he describes the exact 
course he means to take in his further journey, thus giving 
Appius full facility for avoiding him. 

From Cybistra in Cappadocia he writes official letters to 
Caius Marcellus, who had been just chosen Consul, the 
brother of Marcus the existing Consul, to an older Caius 
Marcellus who was their father, a colleague of his own in the 

1 Ad AU. lib. v. 17. 2 Ad Div. lib. iii. 6. 


College of Augurs, and to Marcus the existing Consul with his 
congratulations ; also to ^Emilius Paulus, who had also been 
elected Consul for the next year. He writes also a despatch 
to the Consuls, to the Prsetors, to the Tribunes, and to the 
Senate, giving them a statement as to affairs in the Province. 
These are interesting rather as showing the way in which 
these things were done, than by their own details. When 
he reaches Cilicia proper he writes them another despatch, 
telling them that the Parthians had come across the 
Euphrates. He writes as Wellington may have done from 
Torres Vedras. He bids them look after the safety of their 
Eastern dominions. Though they are too late in doing this, 
yet better now than never. 1 " You know," he says, " with 
what sort of an army you have supported me here ; and 
you know also that I have undertaken this duty not in blind 
folly, but because in respect for the Eepublic I have not 
liked to refuse." " As for our allies here in the province, 
because our rule here has been so severe and injurious, they 
are either too weak to help us, or so embittered against us 
that we dare not trust them." 

Then there is a long letter to Appius, 2 respecting the 
embassy which was to be sent from the Province to Eome 
to carry the praises of the departing governor and declare 
his excellence as a Proconsul ! This was quite the usual 
thing to do ! The worse the Governor, the more necessary 
the Embassy ; and such was the terror inspired even by 
a departing Eoman, and such the servility of the allies, 

1 Ad Div. lib. xv. 1. 2 Ad Div. lib. iii. 8, 


even of those who were about to escape from him, that 
these embassies were a matter of course. There had been a 
Sicilian embassy to praise Verres. Appius had complained 
as though Cicero had impeded this legation by restricting 
the amount to be allowed for its expenses. He rebukes 
Appius for bringing the charge against him. 

The series of letters written this year by Cselius to Cicero 
is very interesting as giving us a specimen of continued 
correspondence other than Ciceronian. We have among the 
885 letters ten or twelve from Brutus, if those attributed 
to him were really written by him ; ten or twelve from 
Decimus Brutus, and an equal number from Plancus ; but 
these were written in the stirring moments of the last 
struggle, and are official or military rather than familiar. 
We have a few from Quintus, but not of special interest 
unless we are to consider that treatise on the duties of a 
candidate as a letter. But these from Cselius to his older 
friend are genuine and natural as those from Cicero himself. 
There are seventeen. They are scattered over three or four 
years, but most of them refer to the period of Cicero's 
provincial government. 

The marvel to me is that Cselius should have adopted a 
style so near akin to that of his master in literature. 
Scholars who have studied the words can probably tell us 
of deficiencies in language. But the easy graphic tone is 
to my ear Ciceronian. Tiro, who was slave, secretary, freed- 
man, and then literary executor, may have had the handling 
of these letters, and have done something towards producing 
their literary excellence. The subjects selected were not 

C I LIC I A. 103 

always good, and must occasionally have produced in Cicero's 
own mind a repetition of the reprimand which he once 
expressed as to the gladiatorial shows and law-court adjourn- 
ments. But Caelius does communicate much of the political 
news from Eome. In one letter, written in October of this 
year, he declares what the Senate has decreed as to the 
recall of Caesar from Gaul, and gives the words of the 
enactments made, with the names subscribed to them of the 
promoters, and also the names of the Tribunes who had 
endeavoured to oppose them. 1 The purport of these decrees 
I have mentioned before. The object was to recall Caesar, 
and the effect was to postpone any such recall till it would 
mean nothing. But Cselius specially declares that the in- 
tention of recalling Caesar was agreeable to Pompey, whereby 
we may know that the pact of the Triumvirate was already 
at an end. In another letter he speaks of the coming of the 
Parthians, and of Cicero's inability to fight with them 
because of the inadequate number of soldiers intrusted to 
him. Had there been a real Eomau army then Caelius wo aid 
have been afraid, he says, for his friend's life. As it is 
he fears only for his reputation, lest men should speak ill 
of him for not fighting, when to fight was beyond his 
power. 2 The language here is so pretty that I am tempted 
to think that Tiro must have had a hand in it. At Eome 
we must remember, the tidings as to Crassus were as yet 
uncertain. We cannot, however, doubt that Cgelius was in 
truth attached to Cicero. 

1 Ad Div. lib. viii. 8. - Ad Div. lib. viil 10, 


But Cicero was forced to fight, not altogether unwillingly, 
not with the Parthians, but with tribes which were revolt- 
ing from Roman authority because of the Parthian success. 
"It has turned out as you wished it," he says to Cselius, 
" a job just sufficient to give me a small coronet of laurel." 
Hearing that men had risen in the Taunus range of moun- 
tains, which divided his Province from that of Syria in 
which Bibulus was now Governor, he had taken such an 
army as he was able to collect to the Am anus, a mountain 
belonging to that range, and was now writing from his camp 
at Pindenissum, a place beyond his own province. Joking at 
his own soldiering, he tells Cselius that he had astonished 
those around him by his prowess. " Is this he whom we 
used to know in the city ? Is this our talkative Senator ? 
You can understand the things they said." l "When I got 
to the Amanus I was glad enough to find our friend Cassius 
had beaten back the real Parthians from Antioch." But 
Cicero claims to have done some gallant things. "1 have 
harassed those men of Amanus who are always troubling 
us. Many I have killed ; some I have taken ; the rest are 
dispersed. I came suddenly upon their strongholds, and 
have got possession of them. I was called ' Imperator ' at 
the river Issus." It is hardly necessary to explain, yet once 
again, that this title belonged properly to no commander 
till it had been accorded to him by his own soldiers on the 
field of battle. 2 He reminds Cselius that it was on the Issus 

1 Ad Div. lib. ii. 10. 

2 This mode of greeting a victorious general had no doubt become absurd 
in the time of Cicero, when any body of soldiers would be only too willing 

C I LIC I A. 105 

that Alexander had conquered Darius. Then he had sat 
down before Pindenissum with all the machinery of a siege, 
with the turrets, covered ways, and ramparts. He had 
not as yet quite taken the town. When he had done so, 
he would send home his official account of it all. But the 
Parthians may yet come, and there may be danger. " There- 
fore, my Rufus," he wa,s Cselius Eufus, "see that I am 
not left here, lest, as you suspect, things should go badly 
with me." There is a mixture in all this of earnestness and 
of drollery, of boasting and of laughing at what he was 
doing, which is inimitable in its reality. His next letter 
is to his other young friend Curio, who has just been elected 
Tribune. He gives much advice to Curio, who certainly 
always needed it. 1 He carries on the joke when he tells 
Atticus that the " people of Pindenissum have surrendered." 
" Who the mischief are these Pindenissians ? you will say. I 
have not even heard the name before. What would you 
have ? I cannot make an ^Etolia out of Cilicia. With such 
an army as this do you expect me to do things like a 
Macedonicus ? " 2 "I had my camp on the Issus, where 
Alexander had his; a better soldier no doubt than you or 
I. I really have made a name for myself in Syria. Then 
up comes Bibulus, determined to be as good as I am ; 
but he loses his whole cohort." The failure made by 

to curry favour with the officer over them by this acclamation. Cicero ridi- 
cules this ; but is at the same time open to the seduction ; as a man with us 
will laugh at the Sir Johns and Sir Thomases who are seated around him, 
but still, when his time comes, will be pleased that his wife shall be called 
" My Lady " like the rest of them. 
1 Ad Div. lib. ii 7. 2 Ad Att lib. v. 2. 


Bibulus at soldiering is quite as much to him as his own 
success. Then he goes back to Laodicea, leaving the army 
in winter quarters, under the command of his brother 

But his heart is truly in other matters, and he bursts out, 
in the same letter, with enthusiastic praise of the line of 
conduct which Atticus has laid down for him. " But that 
which is more to me than anything is that I should live so 
that even that fellow Cato cannot find fault with me. May 
I die, if it could be done better. Nor do I take praise for it 
as though I was doing something distasteful. I never was so 
happy as in practising this moderation. The thing itself is 
better to me even than the reputation of it. What would 
you have me say ? It was worth my while to be enabled 
thus to try myself, so that I might know myself as to 
what I could do." 

Then there is a long letter to Cato in which he repeats the 
story of his grand doings at Pindenissum. The reader will 
be sure that a letter to Cato cannot be sincere and pleasant 
as are those to Atticus and Caslius. " If there be one man 
far removed from the vulgar love of praise, it is I," he 
says to Cato. 1 He tells Cato that they two are alike in all 
things. They two only have succeeded in carrying the true 
ancient philosophy into the practice of the Forum. Never 
surely were two msn more unlike than the stiff-necked Cato 
and the versatile Cicero. 

Lucius ^Ernilius Paullus and C. Clodius Marcellus were 

1 Ad Div. lib; xv. 4. 


Consuls for the next year. Cicero writes to both of them 
B c so w ^ n tenders of friendship ; but from both of them he 
aetat. 57. as k s ^at they should take care to have a decree of 
the Senate passed praising his doings in Cilicia. 1 "With us, 
too, a returning governor is anxious enough for a good word 
from the Prime Minister ; but he does not ask for it so openly. 
The next letter from Cselius tells him that Appius has been 
accused as to malpractices in his government, and that Pompey 
is in favour of Appius. Curio has gone over to Caesar. But 
the important subject is the last handled. " It will be mean 
in you if I should have no Greek panthers," 2 The next 
refers to the marriages and divorces of certain ladies, and ends 
with an anecdote told as to a gentleman with just such ill- 
natured wit as is common in London. No one could have 
suspected Ocella of looking after his neighbour's wife unless 
he had been detected thrice in the fact. 3 

From Laodicea he answers a querulous letter which his 
predecessor had written complaining, among other things, 
that Cicero had failed to show him personal respect. He 
proves that he had not done so, and then rises to a strain of 
indignation. " Do you think that your grand old names will 
affect me; who even before I had become great in the 
service of my country, knew how to distinguish between 
titles and the men who bore them ? " * 

The next letter to Appius is full of flattery and asking for 
favours, but it begins with a sharp reproof. " Now at last I 

1 Ad Div. lib. XT. 10, and lib. xv. 13. " Ut quam honorifieentissimum 
senatus consultum do meis rebus gestis faciendum cures." 

2 Ad Div. lib. viii. 6. 3 Ad Div. lib. viii. 7. 4 Ad Div. lib. iii. 7. 


have received an epistle worthy of Appius Clodius. The 
sight of Home has restored you to your good humour. Those 
I got from you in your journey were such that I could not 
read them without displeasure." 1 

In February Cicero wrote a letter to Atticus which is, I 
think, more expressive in describing the mind of the man 
than any other which we have from him. In it is commenced 
the telling of a story respecting Brutus, the Brutus we all 
know so well, and one Scaptius, of whom no one would have 
heard but for this story, which, as it deeply affects the 
character of Cicero, must occupy a page or two in our 
narrative. But I must first refer to his own account of his 
own government as again given here. Nothing was ever so 
wonderful to the inhabitants of a province as that they 
should not have been put to a shilling of expense since he had 
entered it. Not a penny has been taken on his own behalf 
or on that of the Republic by any belonging to him, except 
on one day by one Tullius, and by him indeed under cover of 
the law. This dirty fellow was a follower with whom Titinius 
had furnished him. When he was passing from Tarsus back 
into the centre of his province wondering crowds came out to 
him, the people not understanding how it had been that no 
letters had been sent to them exacting money, and that none 
of his staff had been quartered on them. In former years 
during the winter months they had groaned under exactions. 
Municipalities with money at their command had paid large 
sums to save themselves from the quartering of soldiers on 

1 Ad Div. lib. iii. 9. 


them. The island of Cyprus, which on a former occasion 
had been made to pay nearly 50,000 on this head, 1 had 
been asked for nothing by him. He had refused to have any 
honours paid to him in return for this conduct. He had pro- 
hibited the erection of statues, shrines, and bronze chariots in 
his name, compliments to Roman generals which had become 
common. The harvest that year was bad ; but so fully con- 
vinced were the people of his honest dealing, that they who 
had saved up corn, the regraters, brought it freely into 
market at his coming. As some scourge from hell must have 
been the presence of such governors as Appius and his 
predecessors among a people timid but industrious like these 
Asiatic Greeks. Like an unknown, unexpected blessing, 
direct from heaven, must have been the coming of a Cicero. 

Now I will tell the story of Brutus and Scaptius and their 
money, premising that it has been told by Mr. Forsyth 
with great accuracy and studied fairness. Indeed there is 
not a line in Mr. Forsyth's volume which is not governed by 
a spirit of justice. He, having thought that Cicero had been 
too highly praised by Middleton, and too harshly handled by 
subsequent critics, has apparently written his book with the 
object of setting right these exaggerations. But in his com- 
ments on this matter of Brutus and Scaptius he seems to me 
not to have considered the difference in that standard of 
honour and honesty which governs himself, and that which 

1 The amount seems so incredible that I cannot but suspect an error in the 
MS. The sum named is 200 Attic talents. The Attic talent according to 
Smith's dictionary was worth 24 31. IBs. It may be that this large amount 
had been collected over a series of years. 


prevailed in the time of Cicero. Not seeing, as I think, how 
impossible it was for a Roman governor to have achieved 
that impartiality of justice with which a long course of 
fortunate training has imbued an English judge, he accuses 
Cicero of " trifling with equity." The marvel to me is that 
one man such as Cicero, a man single in his purpose, 
should have been able to raise his own ideas of justice so 
high above the level prevailing with the best of those around 
him. It had become the nature of a Eoman aristocrat to 
pillage an ally till hardly the skin should be left to cover the 
man's bones. Out of this nature Cicero elevated himself 
completely. In his own conduct he was free altogether from 
stain. The question here arose how far he could dare to go 
on offending the instincts, the- habits, the nature, of other 
noble Romans, in protecting from their rapacity the poor 
subjects who were temporarily beneath his charge. It 
is easy for a judge to stand indifferent between a great 
man and a little when the feelings of the world around 
him are in favour of such impartiality; but it must have 
been hard enough to do so when such conduct seemed to the 
noblest Romans of the day to be monstrous, fanatical, and 

In this case Brutus, our old friend whom all English 
readers have so much admired because he dared to tell his 
brother-in-law Cassius that he was 

" Much condemned to have an itching palm," 

appears before us in the guise of an usurious money-lender. 
It would be hard in the history of usuiy to come across the 


well-ascertained details of a more grasping griping usurer. 
His practice had been of the kind which we may have been 
accustomed to hear rebuked with the scathing indignation of 
our just judges. But yet Brutus was accounted one of the 
noblest Eomans of the day, only second, if second to Cato, in 
general virtue and philosophy. In this trade of money- 
lending the Eoman nobleman had found no more lucrative 
business than that of dealing with the municipalities of the 
allies. The cities were peopled by a money-making com- 
mercial race, but they were subjected to the grinding imposi- 
tions of their governors. Under this affliction they were 
constantly driven to borrow money, and found the capitalists 
who supplied it among the class by whom they were perse- 
cuted and pillaged. A Brutus lent the money which an 
Appius exacted, and did not scruple to do so at 48 per cent., 
although 12 per cent, per annum, or 1 per cent, per month, 
was the rate of interest permitted by law. 

But a noble Eoman such as Brutus did not cany on his 
business of this nature altogether in his own name. Brutus 
dealt with the municipality of Salamis in the island of 
Cyprus, and there had two agents named Scaptius and 
Matinius whom he specially recommended to Cicero as 
creditors of the city of Salamis, praying Cicero, as governor 
of the province, to assist these men in obtaining the payment 
of their debts. 1 This was quite usual, but it was only late in 
the transaction that Cicero became aware that the man really 
looking for his money was the noble Eoman who gave the 
recommendation. Cicero's letter tells us that Scaptius came 

1 Ad Att. lib. v. 21. 


to 'him and that he promised that for Brutus's sake he would 
take care that the people of Salamis should pay their debt. 1 
Scaptius thanked him, and asked for an official position in 
Salamis which would have given him the power of compelling 
the payment by force. Cicero refused, explaining that he 
had determined to give no such offices in his province to 
persons engaged in trade. He had refused such requests 
already, even to Pompey and to Torquatus. Appius had 
given the same man a military command in Salamis, no 
doubt also at the instance of Brutus, and the people of 
Salamis had been grievously harassed. Cicero had heard 
of this and had recalled the man from Cyprus. Of this 
Scaptius had complained bitterly, and at last he and dele- 
gates from Salamis who were willing to pay their debt if 
they could only do it without too great extortion, went 
together to Cicero who was then at Tarsus, in the most 
remote part of his province. Here he was called upon to ad- 
judicate in the matter, Scaptius trusting to the influence 
which Brutus would naturally have with his friend the 
governor, and the men of Salamis to the reputation for justice 
which Cicero had already created for himself in Cilicia. 
The reader must also be made to understand that Cicero had 
been entreated by Atticus to oblige Brutus who was specially 
the friend of Atticus. He must remember also that this 
narrative is sent by Cicero to Atticus who exhorted his 

1 Ad Att. lib. vi. 1. This is the second letter to Atticus on the trans- 
action, and in this he asserts, as though apologising for his conduct to Brutus, 
that he had not before known that the money belonged to Brutus himself.' 
" Nunquam enim ex illo audivi illam yecuiriam esse suam." 


correspondent, even with tears in his eyes, to be true to 
his honour in the government of his province. 1 He is 
appealing from Atticus to Atticus. I am bound to oblige 
you,- but how can I do so in opposition to your own lessons ? 
That is his argument to Atticus. 

Then there arises a question as to the amount of money 
due. The principal is not in dispute, but the interest. The 
money has been manifestly lent on an understanding that 
4 per cent, per month, or 48 per cent, per annum, should be 
charged on it. But there has been a law passed that higher 
interest than 1 per cent, per month, or 12 per cent, per annum, 
shall not be legal. There has, however, been a counter 
decree made in regard to these very Salaminians, and made 
apparently at the instigation of Brutus, saying that any 
contract with them shall be held in force, notwithstanding 
the law. But Cicero again has made a decree that he will 
authorise no exaction above 12 per cent, in his province. 
The exact condition of the legal claim is less clear to me than 
to Mr. Forsyth, who has the advantage of being a lawyer. 
Be that as it may, Cicero decides that 12 per cent, shall be 
exacted and orders the Salaminians to pay the amount. To 
his request they demur, but at last agree to obey, alleging 
that they are enabled to do so by Cicero's own forbearance to 
them, Cicero having declined to accept the presents which 
had been offered to him from the island. 2 They will therefore 

1 In the letter last quoted, " Flens mihi meara fumam commendasti. "Be- 
lieve," he says, "that I cling to the doctrines which you yourself have 
taught me. They are fixed in my very heartstrings." 

2 See the former of the two letters, Ad Att. lib. v. 21. "Quod enim 



pay this money, in some sort, as they say out of the governor's 
own pocket. 

But when the sum is fixed Scaptius, finding that he 
cannot get it over-reckoned after some fraudulent scheme 
of his own, declines to receive it. If with the assistance of 
a friendly governor he cannot do hetter than that for himself 
and his employer, things must be going badly with Eoman 
noblemen. But the delegates are now very anxious to pay 
this money ; and offer to deposit it. Scaptius begs that the 
affair shall go no further at present, no doubt thinking 
that he may drive a better bargain with some less rigid 
future governor. The delegates request to be allowed to 
place their money as paid in some temple, by * doing 
which they would acquit themselves of all responsibility ; 
but Cicero begs them to abstain. "Impetravi ab Salami- 
niis ut silerent," he says. ft I shall be grieved indeed that 
Brutus should be angry with me," he writes ; " but much more 
grieved that Brutus should have proved himself to be such 
as I shall have found him." 

Then comes the passage in his letter on the strength of 
which Mr. Forsyth has condemned Cicero, not without 
abstract truth in his condemnation. " They indeed, have 
consented," that is the Salaminians, " but what will befal 
them if some such governor as Paullus should come here ! 
And all this I have done for the sake of Brutus ! " JEmilius 
Paullus was the Consul, and might probably have Cilicia as a 
Province, and would no doubt give over the Salaminians to 

prsetori dare consuessent, quonium ego ncn acceperam, se a me quodam niodo 


Brutus and his myrmidons without any compunction. In 
strictness, with that assurance in the power of law by 
means of which our judges are enabled to see that their 
righteous decisions shall be carried out without detriment to 
themselves, Cicero should have caused the delegates from 
Salamis instantly to have deposited their money in the 
temple. Instead of doing so he had only declared the amount 
due according to his idea of justice, in opposition to all 
Eomans, even to Atticus, and had then consented to leave 
the matter, as for some further appeal. Do we not know 
how impossible it is for a man to abide strictly by the right, 
when the strict right is so much in advance of all around him 
as to appear to other eyes than his own as straightlaced, 
unpractical, fantastic and almost inhuman ? Brutus wanted 
his money sorely, and Brutus was becoming a great political 
power on the same side with Pompey, and Cato, and the 
other " optirnates." Even Atticus was interfering for Brutus. 
What other Eoman governor of whom we have heard would 
have made a question on the subject ? Appius had lent a 
guard of horse-soldiers to this Scaptius with which he had out- 
raged all humanity in Cyprus, had caused the councillors of 
the city to be shut up till they would come to obedience, in 
doing which he had starved five of them to death ! Nothing had 
come of this, such being the way with the Romans in their 
provinces. Yet Cicero, who had come among these poor 
wretches as an unheard of blessing from heaven, is held up to 
scorn because he " trifled with equity ! " Equity with us runs 
glibly on all fours. With Appius in Cilicia it was utterly 
unknown. What are we to say of the man who by the strength 

I 2 


of his own conscience and by the splendour of his own intel- 
lect could advance so far out of the darkness of his own age> 
and bring himself so near to the light of ours ! 

Let us think for a moment of our own Francis Bacon, a 
man more like to Cicero than any other that I can remember 
in history. They were both great lawyers, both statesmen, 
both men affecting the omne scibile, and coming nearer to it 
than perhaps any other whom we can name ; both patriots, 
true to their conceived idea of government, each having risen 
from obscure position to great power, to wealth, and to rank ; 
each from his own education and his nature prone to com- 
promise, intimate with human nature, not over scrupulous 
either as to others or as to himself. They were men intel- 
lectually above those around them, to a height of which 
neither of them was himself aware. To flattery, to admira- 
tion, to friendship, and to love, each of them was peculiarly 
susceptible. But one failed to see that it behoved him, 
because of his greatness, to abstain from taking what smaller 
men were grasping ; while the other swore to himself from 
his very onset that he would abstain, and kept the oath 
which he had sworn. I am one who would fain forgive 
Bacon for doing what I believe that others did around him. 
But if I can find a man who never robbed, though all others 
around him did, in whose heart the " auri sacra fames " 
had been absolutely quenched, while the men with whom 
he had to live were sickening and dying with an unnatural 
craving, then I seem to have recognised a hero. 

Another complaint is made against Cicero as to Ariobar- 
zanes, the King of Cappadocia, and is founded, as are all 


complaints against Cicero, on Cicero's own telling of the 
story in question. Why there should have been complaint in 
this matter I have not been able to discover. Ariobarzanes 
was one of those Eastern kings who became milch cows 
to the Roman nobles, and who in their efforts to satisfy 
the Roman nobles could only fleece their own subjects. 
The power of this king to raise money seems to have been 
limited to about 8,000 a month. 1 Out of this he offered a 
part to Cicero as the Proconsul who was immediately over 
him. This, Cicero declined, but pressed the king to pay 
the money to the extortionate Brutus, who was a creditor, 
and who endeavoured to get this money through Cicero. 
But Pompey also was a creditor, and Pompey's name was 
more dreadful to the king than that of Brutus. Pompey> 
therefore, got it all, though we are told that it was not 
enough to pay him his interest. But Pompey, getting it 

1 Ad Att. vi. 1. " Tricesimo quoque die talenta Attica xxxiii., et hoc ex 
tributis." On every thirteenth day he gets thirty-three talents from the 
taxes, the talent being about 243Z. Of the poverty of Ariobarzanes we have 
heard much, and of the numbers of slaves which reached Rome from his 
country. It was thus probably that the king paid Pompey his interest. 

"Mancipiis locuples eget seris Cappadonum rex " Hor. Epis. lib. i. vi. 

Persius tells us how the Roman slave-dealer was wont to slap the fat Cap- 
padocian on the thigh to show how sound he was as he was selling him. 
Sat. vi. 77. " Cappadocis eques catastis " is a phrase used by Martial, 
lib. x. 76, to describe from how low an origin a Roman knight might de- 
scend, telling us also that there were platforms erected for the express pur- 
pose of selling slaves from Cappadocia. Juvenal speaks also of " Equites 
Cappadoces " in the same strain, Sat. vii. 15. The descendant even of a slave 
from Cappadocia might rise to be a knight. From all this we may learn what 
was the source of the 8,000^. [a month which Pompey condescended to 
take and which Cicero describes as being " ex tributis." 


all, was graciously pleased to be satisfied. " Cnseus noster 
clementer id fert." " Our Cicero puts up with that, and asks 
no questions about the capital," says Cicero, ironically. 
Pompey was too wise to kill the goose that laid such golden 
eggs. Nevertheless we are told that Cicero, in this case, 
abused his proconsular authority in favour of Brutus. 
Cicero effected nothing for Brutus ; but, when there was a 
certain amount of plunder to be divided among the Eomans, 
refused any share for himself. Pompey got it all, but not 
by Cicero's aid. 

There is another long letter in which Cicero again, for the 
third time, tells the story of Brutus and Scaptius. 1 I men- 
tion it, as he continues to describe his own mode of doing 
his work. He has been at Laodicea from February to May, 
deciding questions that had been there brought before him 
from all parts of his province except Cilicia proper. The 
cities which had been ground down by debt have been 
enabled to free themselves, and then to live under their 
own laws. This he has done by taking nothing from them 
for his own expenses, not a farthing. It is marvellous to 
see how the municipalities have sprung again into life under 
this treatment. " He has been enabled by this to carry on 
justice without obstruction and without severity. Every- 
body has been allowed approach to him, a custom which 
has been unknown in the provinces. There has been no 
back-stairs influence. He has walked openly in his own 
courts, as he used to do when a candidate at home. All this 

1 Ad Att. lib. vi. 2 


has been grateful to the people, aud much esteemed ; nor has 
it been too laborious to himself, as he had learned the way of it 
in his former life." It was thus that Cicero governed Cilicia. 
There are further letters to Appius and Cselius, written 
from various parts of the Province, which cannot fail to 
displease us because we feel that Cicero is endeavouring 
to curry favour. He wishes to stand well with those who 
might otherwise turn against him on his reappearance in 
Rome. He is afraid lest Appius should be his enemy and 
lest Pompey should not be his friend. The practice of 
justice and of virtue would, he knew, have much less effect 
in Borne than the friendship and enmity of such men. But 
to Atticus he bursts out into honest passion against Brutus. 
Brutus had recommended to him one Gavius, whom, to oblige 
Brutus, he appointed to some office. Gavius was greedy, 
and insolent when his greed was not satisfied. " You have 
made me a prefect," said Gavius ; " where am I to go for 
my rations?" Cicero tells him that as he has done no work 
he will get no pay ; whereupon Gavius, quite unaccustomed 
to such treatment, goes off in a huff. " If Brutus can be 
stirred by the anger of. such a knave as this," he says to 
Atticus, " you may love him, if you will, yourself ; you will 
not find me a rival for his friendship." 1 Brutus, however, 
became a favourite with Cicero, because he had devoted 
himself to literature. In judging these two men we should 
not lean too heavily on Brutus, because he did no worse than 
his neighbours. But then, how are we to judge of Cicero ? 

1 Ad Att. lib. vi. 3, 


In the latter months of his government there began a 
new trouble, in which it is difficult to sympathise with him, 
because we are unable to produce in our own minds a 
Roman's estimation of Roman things. With true spirit he 
had laughed at his own military doings at Pindenissum; 
but not the less on that account was he anxious to enjoy 
the glories of a Triumph, and to be dragged through the 
city on a chariot, with military trophies around him, as, from 
time to time immemorial the Roman conquerors had been 
dragged when they returned from their victories. 

For the old barbaric conquerors this had been fine enough. 
A display of armour, of helmets of shields and of swords, 
a concourse of chariots, of trumpets, and of slaves, of 
victims kept for the Tarpeian rock, the spoils and rapine 
of battle, the self-asserting glory of the big fighting hero, 
the pride of bloodshed and the boasting over fallen cities, 
had been fit for men who had in their hearts conceived 
nothing greater than military renown. Our sympathies go 
along with a Camillus or a Scipio steeped in the blood of 
Rome's enemies. A Marius, a Pompey, and again a few 
years afterwards a Ciesar, were in their places as they were 
dragged along the Via Sacra up to the capitol amidst the 
plaudits of the city, in commemoration of their achievements 
in arms. But it could not be so with Cicero. " Concedat laurea 
linguae " had been the watchword of his life. " Let the ready 
tongue and the fertile brain be held in higher honour than 
the strong right arm." That had been the doctrine which he 
had practised successfully. To him it had been given to 
know that the lawyer's gown was raiment worthier of a man 

C I LI CIA. 121 

than the soldier's breastplate. How then could it be that 
he should ask for so small a thing as a Triumph in reward for 
so small a deed as that done at Pindenissum ? But it had 
become the way with all Proconsuls who of late years 
had been sent forth from Eome into the provinces. Men to 
whose provincial government a few cohorts were attached 
aspired to be called " Imperator " by their soldiers after 
mock battles, and thought that as others had followed up 
their sham victories with sham Triumphs, it should be 
given to them to do the same. If Bibulus triumphed it 
would be a disgrace to Cicero not to triumph. We measure 
our expected rewards not by our own merits but by the good 
things which have been conceded to others. To have re- 
turned from Pindenissum and not to be allowed the glory 
of trumpets would be a disgrace, in accordance with the 
theory then prevailing in Kome on such matters. Therefore 
Cicero demanded a triumph. 

In such a matter it was in accordance with custom that 
the general should send an immediate account of his victorious 
doings, demand a " supplication," and have the Triumph to 
be decreed to him or not after his return home. A supplica- 
tion was in form a thanksgiving to th gods for the great 
favour shown by them to the state, but in fact took the 
guise of public praise bestowed upon the man by whose 
hands the good had been done. It was usually a reward 
for military success, but in the affair of Catiline a suppli- 
cation had been decreed to Cicero for saving the city, 
though the service rendered had been of a civil nature 
Cicero now applied for a supplication, and obtained 


it. Cato opposed it, and wrote a letter to Cicero ex- 
plaining his motives, upon high, republican principles. 
Cicero might have endured this more easily had not Cato 
voted for a supplication in honour of Bibulus, whose 
military achievements had, as Cicero thought, been less than 
his own. One Hirrus opposed it also, but in silence, 
having intended to allege that the numbers slain by 
Cicero in his battles were not sufficient to justify a sup- 
plication. We learn that according to strict rule two 
thousand dead men should have been left on the field. 
Cicero's victims had probably been much fewer. Never- 
theless the supplication was granted, and Cicero presumed 
that the Triumph would follow as a matter of course. 
Alas, there came grievous causes to interfere with the 
Triumph ! 

Of all that went on at Eome Caelius continued to send 
Cicero accounts. The Triumvirate was now over. Cselius 
says that Pompey will not attack Caesar openly, but that he 
does all he can to prevent Caesar from being elected Consul 
before he shall have given up his province and his army. 1 
For details Caslius refers him to a " Commentarium," a word 
which has been translated as meaning " newspaper " in this 
passage, by Melmoth. I think that there is no authority 
for this idea, and that the commentary was simply the 
compilation of Cselius, as were the commentaries we so well 
know, the compilation of Ciesar. The " Acta Diurna " were 
published by authority and formed an official gazette. These 

Ad Div. lib. viii. 11. 


no doubt reached Cicero, but were very different in their 
nature from the private record of things which he obtained 
from his friend. 

There are passages in Greek, in two letters 1 written about 
this time to Atticus, which refer to the matter from which 
probably arose his quarrel with his wife and her divorce. 
He makes no direct allusion to his wife> but only to a 
freedman of hers, Philotomus. When Milo was convicted 
his goods were confiscated and sold as a part of his punish- 
ment. Philotomus is supposed to have been a purchaser and 
to have made money out of the transaction, taking advantage 
of his position to acquire cheap bargains ; as should not have 
been done by any one connected with Cicero, who had been 
Milo's friend. The cause of Cicero's quarrel with his wife 
has never been absolutely known, but it is supposed to have 
arisen from her want of loyalty to him in regard to money. 
She probably employed this freedman in filling her pockets 
at the expense of her husband's character. 

In his own letters he tells of preparations made for his 

B c go return, and allusions are made as to his expected 

setat. 57- Triumph. He is grateful to Caelius as to what has 

been done as to the supplication, and expresses his confidence 

that all the rest will follow. 2 He is so determined to hurry 

away that he will not wait for the nomination of a successor 

and resolves to put the government into the hands of any 

one of his officers who may be least unfit to hold it. His 

brother Quintus was his lieutenant, but if he left Quintus 

1 Ad Att. lib. vi. 4 and 5. 
2 Ad Div. lib. ii. 15. " Scito me sperare ea quoe sequuntur." 


people would say of him, that in doing so he was still 
keeping the emoluments in his own hands. At last he 
determines to intrust it to a young Quaestor named 
C. Cselius, no close connection of his friend Cselius, as 
Cicero finds himself obliged to apologise for the selection to 
his friend. " Young, you will say ; no doubt ! But he had 
been elected Quaestor and is of noble birth." l So he gives 
over the province to the young man, having no one else 

Cicero tells us afterwards when at Athens on his way 
home, that he had considerable trouble with his own people 
on withholding certain plunder which was regarded by them 
as their perquisite. He had boasted much of their conduct, 
having taken exception to one Tullius who had demanded 
only a little hay and a little wood. But now there came to 
be pickings, savings out of his own proconsular expenses, 
to part with which at the last moment was too hard 
upon them. "How difficult is virtue," he exclaims, "how 
doubly difficult to pretend to act up to it when it is not 
felt ! " 2 There had been a certain sum saved which he had 
been proud to think that he would return to the treasury. But 
the satellites were all in arms. " Ingemuit nostra cohors." 
Nevertheless he disregarded the " cohort " and paid the 
money into the treasury. 

As to the sum thus saved, there has been a dispute which 
has given rise to some most amusing literary vituperation. 
The care with which MSS. have been read now enables us 

1 Ad Div. lib.ii. 15. s Ad Att. lib. vii. 1. 


to suppose that it was ten hundred thousand sesterces, 
thus expressed, " H. S. X," amounting to something over 
8000. We hear elsewhere, as will be mentioned again, 
that Cicero realised out of his own legitimate allowance in 
Cilicia a profit of about 18,000 ; and we may imagine that 
the " cohort " should think itself aggrieved in losing 8,000 
which they expected to have divided among them. Middleton 
has made a mistake having supposed the X to be CIO or M, 
a thousand instead of ten, and quotes the sum saved as 
having amounted to eight hundred thousand instead of eight 
thousand pounds. We who have had so much done for us 
by intervening research, and are but ill entitled to those 
sxcuses for error which may fairly be put forward on Middle- 
ton's behalf, should be slow indeed in blaming him for an 
occasional mistake, seeing how he has relieved our labours 
by infinite toil on his part. But De Quincey, who has been 
very rancorous against Cicero, has risen to a fury of wrath 
in his denunciation of Cicero's great biographer. " Conyers 
Middleton," he says, " is a name that cannot be mentioned 
without an expression of disgust." The cause of this was 
that Middleton, a beneficed clergyman of the Church of 
England, and a Cambridge man, differed from other Cam- 
bridge clergymen on controversial points and church questions. 
Bentley was his great opponent, and as Bentley was a 
stout fighter, so was Middleton. Middleton, on the whole, 
got the worst of it, because Bentley was the stronger com- 
batant. But he seems to have stood in good repute all his 
life, and when advanced in years was appointed Professor 
of Natural History. He is known to us, however, only as 


the biographer of Cicero. Of this book, Monk, the biographer 
of Middleton's great opponent, Bentley, declares that "for 
elegance, purity, and ease Middleton's style yields to none 
in the English language." De Quiucey says of it, that by 
" weeding away from it whatever is colloquial you would 
strip it of all that is characteristic," meaning, I suppose, 
that the work altogether wants dignity of composition. This 
charge is, to my thinking, so absolutely contrary to the fact 
that it needs only to be named to be confuted by the opinion 
of all who have read the work. De Quincey pounces upon 
the above-named error with profouudest satisfaction, and 
tells us a pleasant little story about an old woman who 
thought that four million people had been once collected 
at Carnarvon. Middleton had found the figure wrongly 
deciphered and wrongly copied for him, and had trans- 
lated it as he found it, without much thought. De Quincey 
thinks that the error is sufficient to throw over all faith 
in the book. "It is in the light of an evidence against 
Middleton's good sense and thoughtfulness that I regard it 
as capital." That is De Quincey's estimate of Middleton as 
a biographer. I regard him as a labourer who spared him- 
self no trouble, who was enabled by his nature to throw 
himself with enthusiasm into his subject, who knew his 
work as a writer of English, and who, by a combination 
of erudition, intelligence, and industry, has left us one of 
those books of which it may truly be said that no English 
library should be without it. 

The last letter written by Cicero in Asia was sent to 
Atticus from Ephesus the day before he started, on the 


last day, namely, of September. He had been delayed by 
winds and by want of vessels large enough to carry him 
and his suite. News here reached him from Eome, news 
which was not true in its details, but true enough in its 
spirit. In a letter to Atticus he speaks of " Miros terrores 
Csesarianos," l "dreadful reports as to outrages by Caesar," 
that he would by no means dismiss his army, that he had 
with him the Praetors elect, one of the Tribunes, and even 
one of the Consuls ; and that Pompey had resolved to leave 
the city. Such were the first tidings presaging Pharsalia. 
Then he adds a word about his Triumph. "Tell me what 
you think about this Triumph, which my friends desire me 
to seek. I should not care about it if Bibulus were not 
also asking for a Triumph ; Bibulus, who never put a foot 
outside his own doors as long as there was an enemy in 
Syria ! " Thus Cicero had to suffer untold misery because 
Bibulus was asking for a Triumph ! 

1 Ad. Att. lib. vi. 8. 



WHAT official arrangements were made for Proconsuls, in 
regard to money, when in command of a province we do 
not know. The amounts allowed were no doubt splendid, 
but it was not to them that the Eoman governor looked 
as the source of that fortune which he expected to amass. 
The means of plunder were infinite, but of plunder always 
subject to the danger of an accusation. We remember how 
Verres calculated that he could divide his spoil into three 
sufficient parts, one for the lawyers, one for the judges 
so as to insure his acquittal, and then one for himself. This 
plundering was common, so common as to have become 
almost a matter of course ; but it was illegal and subjected 
some unfortunate culprits to exile, and to the disgorging of 
a part of what they had taken. No accusation was made 
against Cicero. As to others there were constantly threats, 
if no more than threats. Cicero was not even threatened. 
But he had saved out of his legitimate expenses a sum equal 
to 18,000 of our money, from which we may learn how 
noble were the appanages of a Roman governor. The ex- 
penses of all his staff passed through his own hands, and 
many of those of his army. Any saving effected would 


therefore be to his own personal advantage. On this money 
he counted much when his affairs were in trouble, as he 
was going to join Pompey at Pharsalia in the following 
year. He then begged Atticus to arrange his matters for 
him, telling him that the sum was at his call in Asia. 1 But 
he never saw it again. Pompey borrowed it or took it, 
and when Pompey had been killed the money was of 
course gone. 

His brother Quintus was with him in Cilicia, but of his 
brother's doings there he says little or nothing. "We have 
no letters from him during the period to his wife or daughter. 
The latter was married to her third husband, Dolabella, during 
his absence, with no opposition from Cicero, but not in 
accordance with his advice. He had purposed to accept 
a proposition for her hand made to him by Tiberius Nero, 
the young Koman nobleman who afterwards married that 
Livia whom Augustus took away from him even when 
she was pregnant, in order that he might marry her him- 
self, and who thus became the father of the Emperor 
Tiberius. It is worthy of remark at the same time that 
the Emperor Tiberius married the granddaughter of Atticus. 
Cicero when in Cicilia had wished that Nero should be 
chosen; but the family at home was taken by the fashion 
and manners of Dolabella, and gave the young widow to him 
as her third husband, when she was yet only twenty-five. 
This marriage like the others was unfortunate. Dolabella, 
though fashionable, nobly born, agreeable, and probably 

1 Ad Att. lib. xi. 1. 


handsome, was thoroughly worthless. He was a Eornan 
nobleman of the type then common, heartless, extravagant, 
and greedy. His country, his party, his politics were sub- 
servient, not to ambition or love of power, but simply 
to a desire for plunder. Cicero tried hard to love him, 
partly for his daughter's sake, more perhaps from the 
necessity which he felt for supporting himself by the 
power and strength of the aristocratic party to which 
Dolabella belonged. 

I cannot bring him back to Eome and all that he suffered 
there without declaring that much of his correspondence 
during his government, especially during the latter months 
of it, and the period of his journey home, is very distress- 
ing. I have told the story of his own doings I think 
honestly, and how he himself abstained, and compelled 
those belonging to him to do so ; how he strove to 
ameliorate the condition of those under his rule ; how he 
fully appreciated the duty of doing well by others, so 
soon to be recognised by all Christians. Such humanity 
on the part of a Eoman at such a period is to me 
marvellous, beautiful, almost divine. But in eschewing 
Eoman greed and Eoman cruelty, he was unable to eschew 
Eoman insincerity. I have sometimes thought that to 
have done so it must have been necessary for him alto- 
gether to leave public life. Why not ? my readers will 
say. But in our days, when a man has mixed himself for 
many years with all that is doing in public, how hard it 
is for him to withdraw, even though in withdrawing he 
fears no violence, no punishment, no exile, no confisca- 


tion. The arguments, the prayers, the reproaches of those 
around him draw him back; and the arguments, the 
reproaches from within are more powerful even than those 
from his friends. To be added to these is the scorn, 
perhaps the ridicule of his opponents. Such are the 
difficulties in the way of the modern politician who thinks 
that he has resolved to retire. But the Eoman Ex-Consul, 
Ex-Prsetor, Ex-Governor, had entered upon a mode of war- 
fare in which his all, his life, his property, his choice of 
country, his wife, his children, were open to the ready 
attacks of his eager enemies. To have deserved well 
would be nothing, unless he could keep a party round him 
bound by mutual interests to declare that he had deserved 
well. A rich man who desired to live comfortably beyond 
the struggle of public life had to abstain, as Atticus had 
done, from increasing the sores, from hurting the ambition, 
from crushing "the hopes of aspirants. Such a man might 
be safe but he could not be useful. Such at any rate had 
not been Cicero's life. In his earlier days, till he was 
Consul, he had kept himself free from political interference 
in doing the work of his life, but since that time he had 
necessarily put himself into competition with many men 
and had made many enemies by the courage of his opinions. 
He had found even those he had most tiusted opposed 
to him. He had aroused the jealousy not only of 
the Caesars and the Crassuses and the Pisos, but also 
of the Pompeys and Catos and Brutuses. Whom was 
he not compelled to fear ? And yet he could not escape 
to his books. Nor in truth did he wi;h it. He had 

K 2 


made for himself a nature which he could not now 

He had not been long in Cilicia before he knew well 
how cruel, how dishonest, how greedy, how thoroughly 
Eoman had been the conduct of his predecessor, Appius. 
His letters to Atticus are full of the truths which he had 
to tell on that matter. His conduct, too, with regard to 
Appius was mainly right. As far as in him lay he 
endeavoured to remedy the evils which the unjust Pro- 
consul had done, and to stop what further evil was still 
being done. He did not hesitate to offend Appius when 
it was necessary to do so by his interference. But Appius 
was a great nobleman, one of the " optimates," a man with 
a strong party at his back in Eome. Appius knew well 
that Cicero's good word was absolutely necessary to save 
him from the ruin of a successful accusation. Cicero knew 
also that the support of Appius would be of infinite service 
to him in his Roman politics. Knowing this he wrote to 
Appius letters full of flattery, full of falsehood, if the 
plain word can serve our purpose better. Dolabella, the 
new son-in-law, had taken upon himself, for some reason as 
to which it can hardly be worth our while to inquire, to 
accuse Appius of malversation in his province. That Appius 
deserved condemnation there can be no doubt ; but in these 
accusations the contests generally took place not as to the 
proof of the guilt, but as to the prestige and power of the 
accuser and the accused. Appius was tried twice on different 
charges, and was twice acquitted. But the fact that his son- 
in-law should be the accuser was fraught with danger to 


Cicero. He thought it necessary for the hopes which he 
then entertained to make Appius understand that his son- 
in-law was not acting in concert with him, and that he was 
desirous that Appius should receive all the pra'ise which 
would have been due to a good Governor. So great was 
the influence of Appius at Rome that he was not only 
acquitted, but shortly afterwards elected Censor. The office 
of Censor was in some respects the highest in Eome. The 
Censors were elected only once in four years, remaining in 
office for eighteen months. The idea was that powers so 
arbitrary as these should be in existence only for a year 
and a half out of each four years. Questions of morals 
were considered by them. Should a Senator be held to 
have lived as did not befit a Senator, a Censor could depose 
him. As Appius was elected Censor immediately after his 
acquittal, together with that Piso whom Cicero had so 
hated, it may be understood that his influence was very 
great. 1 It was great enough to produce from Cicero letters 
which were flattering and false. The man who had been 
able to live with a humanity, a moderation, and an honesty 
befitting a Christian, had not risen to that appreciation of 
the beauty of truth which an exercise of Christianity is 
supposed to exact. 

" Sed quid agas ? Sic vivitur ! " L " What would you 
have me do ? It is thus we live now." This he exclaims in 
a letter to Ceelius, written a short time before he left 
the province "What would you say if you read my last 

1 Appius and 1'iso were the two last Censors elected by the Republic. 

2 Ad Div. lib. ii. 15. 


letter to Appius ? " You would open your eyes if you knew 
how I have nattered Appius. That was his meaning. " Sic 
vivitur ! " " It is so we live now." When I read this I feel 
compelled to ask whether there was an opportunity for any 
other way of living. Had he seen the baseness of lying 
as an English Christian gentleman is expected to see it, 
and had adhered to truth at the cost of being a martyr, 
his conduct would have been high though we might have 
known less of it; but looking at all the circumstances 
of the period have we a right to think that he could have 
done so ? 

From Athens on his way home Cicero wrote to his wife, 
joining Tullia's name with hers. " Lux nostra " he calls his 
daughter ; " the very apple of my eye ! " He had already 
heard from various friends that civil war was expected. He 
will have to declare himself on his arrival, that is to take 
one side or the other, and the sooner he does so the better. 
There is some money to be looked for, a legacy which had 
been left to him. He gives express directions as to the 
persons to be employed respecting this, omitting the name of 
that Philotomus as to whose honesty he is afraid. He calls 
his wife, "suavissima et optatissima Terentia," but he does 
not write to her with the true love which was expressed 
by his letters when in exile. From Athens also, where he 
seems to have stayed nearly two months, he wrote in 
December. He is easy, he says, about his Triumph unless 
Csesar should interfere, but he does not care much about 
his Triumph now. He is beginning to feel the wearisomeness 
of the Triumph. And indeed it was a time in which the utter 


hollowness of triumphal pretensions must have made the idea 
odious to him. But to have withdrawn would have been to 
have declared his own fears, his own doubts, his own inferiority 
to the two men who were becoming declared as the rival 
candidates for Roman power. We may imagine that at such 
a time he would gladly have gone in quiet to his Roman 
mansion or to one of his villas, ridding himself for ever of the 
trouble of his lictors, his " fasces," and all the paraphernalia of 
imperatorial dignity. But a man cannot rid himself of such 
appanages without showing that he has found it necessary 
to do so. It was the theory of a Triumph that the victorious 
Imperator should come home, hot as .it were from the battle- 
field, with all his martial satellites around him, and have 
himself carried at once through Eome. It was barbaric and 
grand, as I have said before, but it required the martial 
satellites. Tradition had become law, and the " Imperator " 
intending to triumph could not dismiss his military followers 
till the ceremony was over. In this way Cicero was sadly 
hampered by his lictors when on his landing at Brundisium 
he found that Italy was already preparing for her great 
civil war. 

Early in this year it had been again proposed in the Senate 
B c. 50 ^ iat Caesar should give up his command. At this 
aetat. 57. time the two c onsu i s L ^Emilius Paulus and C. 

Claudius Marcellus were opposed to Caesar, as was also 
Curio, who had been one of Cicero's young friends, and was 
now Tribune. But two of these Caesar managed to buy by 
the payment of enormous bribes. Curio was the more im- 
portant of the two and required the larger bribe. The story 


comes to us from Appian, 1 but the modern reader will find it 
efficiently told by Mommsen. 2 The Consul had 1,500 talents, 
or about 500,000 ! The sum named as that given by 
Caesar to Curio was something greater because he was so 
deeply in debt ! Bribes to the amount of above a million 
of money such as money is to us now, bestowed upon two 
men for their support in the Senate ! It was worth a man's 
while to be a Consul or a Tribune in those days. But the 
money was well earned, plunder no doubt extracted from 
Gaul. The Senate decided that both Pompey and Caesar 
should be required to abandon their commands ; or rather 
they adopted a proposal to that effect without any absolute 
decree. But this sufficed for Caesar, who was only anxious 
to be relieved from the necessity of obeying any order from 
the Senate by the knowledge that Pompey also was ordered 
and also was disobedient. Then it was,- in the summer of this 
year, that the two commanders were desired by the Senate 
to surrender, each of them a legion, or about 3,000 men, 
under the pretence that the forces were wanted for the 
Parthian war. The historians tell us that Pompey had lent 
a legion to Caesar, thus giving us an indication of the singular 
terms on which legions were held by the Proconsular officers 
who commanded them. Csesar nobly sends up to Rome two 
legions, the one as having been ordered to be restored by 
himself and the other as belonging to Pompey. He felt, no 

1 Appian ; De Bell. Civ. lib. ii. 26. The historian tells us that the Consul 
built a temple with the money, but that Curio had paid his debts. 
8 Mcmmsen, Book v. ca. ix. 


doubt, that a show of nobleness in this respect would do 
him better service than the withholding of the soldiers. 
The men were stationed at Capua, instead of being sent 
to the East, and no doubt drifted back into Cesar's hands. 
The men who had served under Csesar would not willingly 
find themselves transferred to Pompey. 

Csesar in the summer came across the Alps into Cis- 
alpine Gaul, which as yet had cot been legally 
taken from him, and in the autumn sat himself down 
at Eavenna which was still within his province. It was 
there that he had to meditate the crossing of the Eubicon 
and the manifestation of absolute rebellion. Matters were 
in this condition when Cicero returned to Italy and heard 
the corroboration of the news as to the civil war which 
had reached him at Athens. 

In a letter written from Athens, earlier than the one last 
quoted, Cicero declared to Atticus that it would become him 
better to be conquered with Pompey than to conquer with 
Caesar. 1 The opinion here given may be taken as his 
guiding principle in politics till Pompey was no more. 
Through all the doubts and vacillations which encumbered 
him this was the rule not only of his mind, but of his heart. 
To him there was no Triumvirate. The word had never been 
mentioned to his ears. Had Pompey remained free from 
Csesar it would have been better. The two men had come 
together, and Crassus had joined them. It was better for 
him to remain with them and keep them right, than to 

1 Ad Att. lib. vii. 1. " Video cum alterovinci satius esse quain cum altero 


stand away, angry and astray as Cato had done. The 
question how far Csesar was justified in the position which 
he had taken up, by certain alleged injuries, affected Cicero 
less than it has done subsequent inquirers. Had an attempt 
been made to recall Caesar illegally ? Was he subjected to 
wrong by having his command taken away from him before 
the period had passed for which the people had given it ? 
Was he refused indulgences to which the greatness of his 
services entitled him, such as permission to sue for the 
Consulship while absent from Eome, while that and more 
than that had been granted to Pompey ? All these questions 
were no doubt hot in debate at the time, but could hardly 
have affected much the judgment of Cicero and did not 
at all affect his conduct. Nor, I think, should they influence 
the opinions of those who now attempt to judge the 
conduct of Csesar. Things had gone beyond the domain 
of law, and had fallen altogether into that of potentialities. 
Decrees of the Seriate or votes of the people were alike 
used as excuses. Csesar from the beginning of his career 
had shown his determination to sweep away as cobwebs the 
obligations which the law imposed upon him. It is surely 
vain to look for excuses for a man's conduct to the practice 
of that injustice against him which he has long practised 
against others. Shall we forgive a housebreaker because 
the tools which he has himself invented are used at last 
upon his own door ? The modern lovers of Caesar and of 
Cffisarism generally do not seek to wash their hero white 
after that fashion. To them it is enough that the man has 
been able to trample upon the laws with impunity, and to 


be a law not only to himself but to all the world around him. 
There are. some of us who think that such a man, let him be 
ever so great let him be ever so just if the infirmities of 
human nature permit justice to dwell in the breast of such 
a man, will in the end do more harm than good. But they 
who sit at the feet of the great commanders admire them as 
having been law-breaking, not law-abiding. To say that 
Caesar was justified in the armed position which he took in 
B c 50 Northern Italy in the autumn of this year is to rob 
aetat. 57. j^ m Q f j^ g p ra j se j ^0 not suppose that he had 

meditated any special line of policy during the years of 
hard work in Gaul, but I think that he was determined not to 
relinquish his power and that he was ready for any violence 
by which he might preserve it. 

If such was Cicero's idea of this man, if such the 
troubled outlook which he took into the circumstances of the 
Empire, he thought probably but little of the legality of 
Caesar's recall. What would the Consuls do, what would 
Curio do, what would Pompey do, and what Caesar? It 
was of this that he thought. Had law-abiding been then 
possible he would have been desirous to abide by the law. 
Some nearest approach to the law would be the best. Caesar 
had ignored all laws, except so far as he could use them for 
his own purposes. Pompey in conspiring with Caesar had 
followed Caesar's lead; but was desirous of using the law 
against Caesar when Caesar outstripped him in lawlessness. 
But to Cicero there was still some hope of restraining 
Pompey. Pompey too had been a conspirator, but not so 
notorious a conspirator as Caesar. "With Pompey there 


would be some bond to the Eepublic ; with Csesar there 
could be none. Therefore it was better for him to fall with 
Pompey than to rise with Caesar. That was his conviction 
till Pompey had altogether fallen. 

His journey homewards is made remarkable by letters 
to Tiro, his slave and secretary. Tiro was taken ill, and 
Cicero was obliged to leave him at Patrse, in Greece. 
Whence he had come to Cicero we do not know, or 
when; but he had not probably fallen under his master's 
peculiar notice before the days of the Cilician govern- 
ment, as we find that, on his arrival at Erundisium, he 
writes to Atticus respecting him as a person whom Atticus 
had not much known. 1 But his affection for Tiro is 
very warm, and his little solicitudes for the man whom 
he leaves are charming. He is to be careful as to what 
boat he takes, and under what captain he sails. He is not 
to hurry. The doctor is to be consulted and well paid. 
Cicero himself writes various letters to various persons in 
order to secure that attention which Tiro could not have 
insured unless so assisted. 

Early in January Cicero reached the city, but could not 
enter it because of his still unsettled triumph, and Caesar 
crossed the little river which divided his province from the 
Roman territory. The 4th of January is the date given for 
the former small event. For the latter I have seen no precise 
day named. I presume that it was after the 6th, as on that 
day the Senate appointed Domitian as his successor in his 

1 Ad Att. lib. vii. 2. Adolescentem, ut nosti, et adde, .si quid vis, 


province. On this being done the two Tribunes, Antony 
and Cassius, hurried off to Caesar, and Caesar then probably 
crossed the stream. Cicero was appointed to a command in 
Campania, that of raising levies, the duties of which were 
not officially repugnant to his Triumph. 

His doings during the whole of this time were but little 
to his credit ; but who is there whose doings were to his credit 
at that period ? The effect had been to take all power out 
of his hand. Caesar had given him up. Pompey could not 
do so, but we can imagine how willing Pompey would have 
been that he should have remained in Cilicia. He had been 
sent there, out of the way, but had hurried home again. If 
he would only have remained and plundered ! If he would 
only have remained there and have been honest so that he 
would be out of the way ! But here he was, back in Italy, 
an honest upright man ! No one so utterly unlike the usual 
Eoman, so lost amidst the self-seekers of Rome, so unneces- 
sarily clean-handed, could be found ! Cato was honest, 
foolishly honest for his time; but with Cato it was not so 
difficult to deal as with Cicero. 'We can imagine Cato 
wrapping himself up in his robe and being savagely un- 
reasonable. Cicero was all alive to what was going on in 
the world, but still was honest ! In the meantime he re- 
mained in the neighbourhood of Naples, writing to his wife 
and daughter, writing to Tiro, writing to Atticus, and telling 
us all those details which we now seem to know so well, 
because he has told us. In one of his letters to Atticus at 
this time he is sadly in earnest. He will die with Pompey 
in Italy, but what can he do by leaving it ? He has his 


" lictors " with him still. Oh those dreadful lictors ! His 
friendship for Cnseus ! His fear of having to join himself 
with the coming tyrant ! " Oh ! that you would assist me 
with your counsel." l He writes again and describes the 
condition of Pompey, of Pompey who had been Magnus. 
" See how prostrate he is. He has neither courage, counsel, 
men, nor industry ! Put aside those things ; look at his 
flight from the city, his cowardly harangues in the towns, 
his ignorance of his own strength and that of his enemy ! " 
" Caesar in pursuit of Pompey ! Oh, sad ! " " Will he kill 
him ? " he exclaims. Then, still to Atticus, he defends 
himself. He will die for Pompey, but he does not believe 
that he can do any good either to Pompey or to the 
Eepublic by a base flight. Then there is another cause 
for staying in Italy as to which he cannot write. This 
was Terentia's conduct. At the end of one of his letters 
he tells Atticus that with the same lamp by which he had 
written would he burn that which Atticus had sent to him. 
In another he speaks of a Greek tutor who has deserted him, 
a certain Dionysius, and he boils over with anger. His letters 
to Atticus about the Greek tutor are amusing at this distance 
of time, because they show his eagerness. " I never knew 
anything more ungrateful; aod there is nothing worse than 
ingratitude." 2 

He heaps his scorn upon Pompey. "It is true indeed 
that I said that it was better to be conquered with him than 
to conquer with those others. I would indeed. But of 

1 Ad Att. lib. vii. 2023. a Ad Att. lib. viii. 4. 


what Pompey was it that I so spoke ? Was it of this one 
who flies he knows not what, nor whom ; nor whither he 
will fly ? " l He writes again the same day. " Pompey had 
fostered Csesar ; and then had feared him. He had left the 
city ; he had lost Picenum by his own fault ; he had betaken 
himself to Apulia ! Then he went into Greece, leaving us 
in the dark as to his plans ! " He excuses a letter of his 
own to Caesar. He had written to Csesar in terms which 
might be pleasing to the great man. He had told Caesar of 
Caesar's admirable wisdom. Was it not better so ? He was 
willing that his letter should be read aloud to all the people, 
if only those of Pompey might also be read aloud. Then 
follow copies of a correspondence between him and Pompey. 
In the last he declares 2 that "when he had written from 
Canusium he had not dreamed that Pompey was about to 
cross the sea. He had known that Pompey had intended to 
treat for peace, for peace even under unjust conditions, 
but he had never thought that Pompey was meditating a 
retreat out of Italy." He argues well and stoutly, and does 
take us along with him. Pompey had been beaten back 
from point to point, never once rallying himself against 
Csesar. He had failed and had slipped away, leaving a man 
here and there to stand up for the Eepublic. Pompey was 
willing to risk nothing for Borne. It had come to pass at 
last that he was being taught Csesarism by Csesar, and when 
he died was more imperial than his master. 

At this time Cicero's eyes were bad. " Mihi molestior 

1 Ad Att. lib. viii. 7. 

2 Copy of letter D, enclosed in letter to Atticus, lib. viii. 11. 


" lippitudo erat etiam quam ante fuerat." And again, " Lip- 
" pitudinis meae signum tibi sit librarii manus." But we may 
doubt whether any great men have lived so long with so little 
to tease them as to their health. And yet the amount of work 
he got through was great. He must have so arranged his affairs 
as to have made the most he could of his hours, and have 
carried in his memory information on all subjects. When 
we remember the size of the books which he read, their un- 
wieldy shapes, their unfitness for such work as that of ours, 
there seems to have been a continuation of study such as we 
cannot endure. Throughout his life his hours were early, 
but they must also have been late. Of his letters we have 
not a half, of his speeches not a half; of his treatises not 
more than a half. When he was abroad during his exile, or 
in Cilicia during his government, he could not have had his 
books with him. That Caesar should have been Caesar, or 
Pompey Pompey, does not seem to me a matter so difficult 
as that Cicero should have been Cicero. Then comes that 
letter of which I spoke in my first chapter, in which 
he recapitulates the Getse, the Armenians, and the men 
of Colchis. " Shall I, the saviour of the city, assist to 
bring down upon that city those hordes of foreign men ? 
Shall I deliver it up to famine and to destruction for the 
sake of one man who is no more than mortal ? " * It was 
Pompey as to whom he then asked the question. For 
Pompey's sake am I to let in these crowds ? We have been 
told, indeed, by Mr. Froude that the man was Caesar, and 

1 Ad Att. lib. ix. 10. 


that Cicero wrote thus anxiously with the special object of 
arranging his death ! 

"Now, if ever, think what we shall do," he says. "A 
Roman army sits round Pompey and makes him a prisoner 
within valley and rampart ; and shall we live ? The city 
stands ; the Praetors give the law, the ^Ediles keep up the 
games, good men look to their principal and their interest. 
Shall I remain sitting here ? Shall I rush hither and thither 
madly, and implore the credit of the towns ? Men of sub- 
stance will not follow me. The revolutionists will arrest 
me. Is there any end to this misery ? People will point 
at me and say, ' How wise he was not to go with him.' I 
was not wise. Of his victory I never wished to be the 
comrade, yet now I do of his sorrow." 2 

Pompey had crossed the sea from Brundisium and Caesar 
B c 49 ^ a( ^ Created across Italy to Capua. As he was 
setat. 58. j ourne ying he saw Cicero, and asked him to go to 
Eome. This Cicero refused, and Caesar passed on. " I must 
then use other counsels," said Caesar, thus leaving him for the 
last time before the coming battle. Cicero went on to Arpinum 
and there heard the nightingales. From that moment he 
resolved. He had not thought it possible that when the 
moment came he should have been able to prevail against 
Caesar's advice. But he had done so. He had feared that 
Caesar would overcome him ; but when the moment came he 
was strong against even Cassar. He gave his boy his toga, 
or as we should say, made a man of him. He was going 

1 Ad Att. lib. ix. 12. 


after Pompey, not for the sake of Pompey, not for the sake 
of the Republic, but for loyalty. He was going' because 
Atticus had told him to go. But as he is going there came 
fresh ground for grief. He writes to Atticus about the two 
boys, his son and nephew. The one is good by nature, 
and has not yet gone astray. The other, the elder and his 
nephew, has been encouraged by this uncle's indulgence, 
and has openly adopted evil ways. In other words, he has 
become Caesarian, for a reward. 1 The young Quintus has 
shown himself to be very false. Cicero is so bound together 
with his family in their public life that this falling off of one 
of them makes him unhappy. Then Curio comes the way 
and there is a most interesting conversation. It seems that 
Curio, who is fond of Cicero, tells him everything. But 
Cicero, who doubts him, lets him pass on. Then Cselius writes 
to him. Cselius implores him, for the sake of his children 
to bear in mind what he is doing. He tells him much of 
Caesar's anger, and asks him if he cannot become Caesarian, 
at any rate to betake himself to some retreat till the storm 
shall pass by and quieter days should come. But Cselius, 
though it had suited Cicero to know him intimately, had not 
read the greatness of the man's mind. He did not under- 
stand in the least the difficulty which pervaded Cicero. To 
Cselius it was play, play in which a man might be beaten, or 
banished, or slaughtered ; but it was a game in which men 
were fighting each for themselves. That there should be a 
duty in the matter, beyond that, was inexplicable to Cselius. 

i Ad Att. lib. x. 4. 


And his children too ; his anger against young Quintus 
and his forgiveness of Marcus ! He thinks that Quintus 
had been purchased by a large bribe on Caesar's side, and 
is thankful that it is no worse with him. What can have 
been worse to a young man than to have been open to 
such payment ? Antony is frequently on the scene, and 
already disgusts us by the vain frivolity and impudence 
of his life. And then Cicero's eyes afflict him, and he 
cannot see. Servius Sulpicius comes to him weeping. For 
Servius, who is timid and lachrymose, everything has gone 
astray. And then there is that Dionysius, who had 
plainly told him that he desired to follow some richer or some 
readier master. At the last comes the news of his Tullia's 
child's birth. She is brought to bed of a son. He cannot, 
however, wait to see how the son thrives. From the midst 
of enemies and with spies around him he starts. There is 
one last letter written to his wife and daughter from on 
board the ship at Caieta, sending them many loves and 
many careful messages, and then he is off. 

It was now the llth of June, the third day before the 
Ides, B.C. 49, and we hear nothing special of the events of 
his journey. When he reached the camp, which he did in 
safety, he was not well received there. He had given his all 
to place himself along with Pompey in the republican quarters, 
and when there the republicans were unwilling to welcome 
him. Pompey would have preferred that he should have 
remained away, so as to be able to say hereafter that he had 
not come. 

Of what occurred to Cicero during the great battle which 

L 2 


led to the solution of the Koman question we know little or 
nothing. We hear that Cicero was absent sick at Dyrrachium, 
but there are none of those tirades of abuse with which such 
an absence might have been greeted. We hear indeed from 
other sources very full accounts of the fighting, how Caesar 
was nearly conquered, how Pompey might have prevailed had 
he had the sense to take the good which came in his way, how 
he failed to take it, how he was beaten, and how in the very 
presence of his wife, he was murdered at last at the mouth of 
the Nile by the combined energies of a Eoman and a Greek. 

We can imagine how the fate of the world was decided on 
the Pharsalus where the two armies met, and the victory 
remained with Caesar. Then there were weepings and 
gnashings of teeth, and there were the congratulations and 
self-applause of the victors. In all Cicero's letters there is 
not a word of it. There was terrible suffering before it 
began, and there is the sense of injured innocence on his 
return, but nowhere do we find any record of what took 
place. There is no mourning for Pompey, no turning to 
Caesar as the conqueror. Petra has been lost and Pharsalia 
has been won, but there is no sign. 

Cicero, we know, spent the time at Dyrrachium close to 
B c 48 which the battle of Petra was fought, and went from 
setat. 59. tj ience to Corcyra. There invitation was made to 
him as the senior consular officer present to take the command 
of the beaten army, but that he declined. We are informed 
that he was nearly killed in the scuffle which took place. We 
can imagine that it was so, that in the confusion and tur- 
moil which followed he should have been somewhat roughly 


told that it behoved him to take the lead and to come forth 
as the new commander ; that there should be a time at last 
in which no moment should be allowed him for doubt, but 
that he should doubt, and after more or less of reticence, pass 
on. Young Pompey would have it so. What name would 
be so good to bind together the opponents of Caesar as that 
of Cicero ? But Cicero would not be led. It seems that he 
was petulant and out of sorts at the time, that he had been 
led into the difficulty of the situation by his desire to be true 
to Pompey, and that he was only able to escape from it now 
that Pompey was gone. We can well imagine that there 
should be no man less able to fight against Caesar, though 
there was none whose name might be serviceable to use as 
that of Cicero. At any rate as far as we are concerned there 
was silence on the subject on his part. He wrote not a 
word to any of the friends whom Pompey had left behind 
him, but returned to Italy dispirited, silent, and unhappy. 
He had indeed met many men since the battle of the 
Pharsalus, but to none of whom we are conversant had he 
expressed his thoughts regarding that great campaign. 

Here we part from Pompey who ran from the fighting-ground 
of Macedonia to meet his doom in the roads of Alexandria. 
Never had man risen so high in his youth to be extinguished so 
ingloriously in his age. He was born in the same year with 
Cicero but had come up quicker into the management of the 
world's affairs, so as to have received something from his equals 
of that which was due to age. Habit had given him that ease 
of manners which enabled him to take from those who should 
have been his compeers the deference which was due not to 


his age but to his experience. When Cicero was entering the 
world, taking up the cudgels to fight against Sulla, Pompey 
had already won his spurs, in spite of Sulla but by means of 
Sulla. Men, in these modern days learn as they grow old 
in public life, to carry themselves with indifference among 
the backslidings of the world. In reading the life of Cicero 
we see that it was so then. When defending Amerinus, we 
find the same character of man as was he who afterwards 
took Milo's part. There is the same readiness, the same 
ingenuity, and the same high indignation. But there is not 
the same indifference as to results. With Amerinus it is as 
though all the world depended on it. With Milo he felt it 
to be sufficient to make the outside world believe it. When 
Pompey triumphed, 70 B.C. and was made Consul for the 
second time he was already old in glory, when Cicero had 
not as yet spoken those two orations against Verres which 
had made the speaking of another impossible. Pompey we 
may say had never been young. Cicero was never old. There 
was no moment in his life in which Cicero was not able to 
laugh with the Curios and the Cseliuses behind the back of 
the great man. There was no moment in which Pompey 
could have done so. He who has stepped from his cradle on 
to the world's high places has lost the view of those things 
which are only to be seen by idle and luxurious young 
men of the day. Cicero did not live for many years beyond 
Pompey but I doubt whether he did not know infinitely 
more of men. To Pompey it had been given to rule them ; 
but to Cicero to live with them. 



IN the autumn of this year Cicero had himself landed at 

Brundisium. He remained nearly a year at Brundisium, 

B c 40 and it is melancholy to think how sad and how 

aetat. 59. j on g mus t ] iave ] Deen ^he days with him. He had 

no country when he reached the nearest Italian port. It was 
all Caesar's, and Caesar was his enemy. There had been a 
struggle for the masterdom between two men, and of the two 
the one had beaten with whom Cicero had not ranged him- 
self. He had known how it would be. All the Getae and 
the men of Colchis and the Armenians, all the lovers of the 
fishponds and those who preferred the delicacies of Baise to 
the work of the Forum, all who had been taught to think 
that there were provinces in order that they might plunder, 
men who never dreamed of a country but to sell it, all those 
whom Caesar was determined either to drive out of Italy or 
keep there in obedience to himself, had been brought together 
in vain. We already know, when we begin to read the 
story, how it will be with them and with Caesar. On Caesar's 
side there is an ecstasy of hope carried to the very brink of 
certainty ; on the other is that fainting spirit of despair 


which no battalions can assuage. We hear of no Soseva and 
of no Crastinus on Pompey's side. Men change their nature 
under such leading as was that of Caesar. The inferior men 
become heroic by contact with the hero. But such heroes 
when they come are like great gouts of blood dabbled down 
upon a fair cloth. Who that has eyes to see can look back 
upon the career of such a one and not feel an agony of pain 
as the stern man passes on without a ruffled face, after order- 
ing the right hands of those who had fought at Uxellodunum 
to be chopped off at the wrist in order that men might know 
what was the penalty of fighting for their country ? 

There are men, or have been, from time to time, in all 
ages of the world, let loose, as it were, by the hand of God 
to stop the iniquities of the people, but in truth the natural 
product of those iniquities. They have come and done their 
work and have died, leaving behind them the foul smell of 
destruction. An Augustus followed Csesar, and him Tibe- 
rius, and so on to a Nero. It was necessary that men should 
suffer much before they were brought back to own their 
condition. But they who can see a Cicero struggling to 
avoid the evil that was coming, not for himself but for the 
world around him, and can lend their tongues, their pens, 
their ready wits to ridicule his efforts, can hardly have 
been touched by the supremacy of human suffering. 

It must have been a sorry time with him at Brundisium. 
He had to stay there waiting till Caesar's pleasure had been 
made known to him, and Csesar was thinking of other things. 
Csesar was away in Egypt and the East, encountering perils 
at Alexandria which, if all be true that we have heard, 


imply that he had lived to be past fear. Grant that a man 
has to live as Csesar did, and it will be well that he should 
be past fear. At any rate he did not think of Cicero, or 
thinking of him felt that he was one who must be left to 
brood in silence over the choice he had made. Cicero did 
brood, not exactly in silence, over the things that fate had 
done for him and for his country. For himself, he was living 
in Italy, and yet could not venture to betake himself to one 
of the eighteen villas which, as Middleton tells us, he had 
studded about the country for his pastime. There were those 
at Tusculum, Antium, Astura, Arpinum at Formise, at 
Cumse, ?>t Puteoli, and at Pompeii. Those who tell us of 
Cicero's poverty are surely wandering, carried away by their 
erroneous notions of what were a Eoman nobleman's ideas as 
to money. At no period of his life do we find Cicero not 
doing what he was minded to do for want of money, and 
at no period is there a hint that he had allowed himself in 
any respect to break the law. It has been argued that he 
must have been driven to take fees and bribes and indirect 
payments, because he says that he wanted money. It was 
natural that he should occasionally want money, and yet be 
in the main indifferent. The incoming of a regular revenue 
was not understood as it is with us. A man, here and there, 
might attend to his money, as did Atticus. Cicero did not ; 
and therefore when in want of it he had to apply to a friend 
for relief. But he always applies as one who knows well 
that the trouble is not enduring. Is it credible that a man 
so circumstanced should have remained with those various 
sources of extravagance which it would have been easy for 


him to have avoided or lessened ? We are led to the con- 
viction that at no time was it expedient to him to abandon 
his villas, though in the hurry-scurry of Roman affairs it did, 
now and again, become necessary for him to apply to Atticus 
for accommodation. Let us think what must have been 
Ceesar's demands for money. Of these we hear nothing, be- 
cause he was too wise to have an Atticus to whom he wrote 
everything, or too wary to write letters upon business which 
should be treasured for the curiosity of after ages. 

To be hopeful and then tremulous, to be eager after success 
and then desponding, to have believed readily every good and 
then, as readily, evil, to have relied implicitly on a mans 
faith and then to have turned round and declared how he 
had been deceived, to have been very angry and then to 
have forgiven, this seems to have been Cicero's nature. 
Verres, Catiline, Clodius, Piso, and Vatinius seem to have 
caused his wrath. But was there one of them against whom, 
though he did not forgive him, his anger did not die out ? 
Then, at last, he was moved to an internecine fight with 
Antony. Is there any one who has read the story which we 
are going to tell who will not agree with us that, if after 
Mutina Octavius had thought fit to repudiate Antony and to 
follow Cicero's counsels, Antony would not have been spared ? 

Nothing angers me so much in describing Cicero as the 
assertion that he is a coward. It has sprung from a wrong 
idea of what constitutes cowardice. He did not care to fight; 
but are all men cowards who do not care to fight when work 
can be so much better done by talking ? He saw that fight- 
ing was the work fit for men of common clay, or felt it if he 


did not see it. When men rise to such a pitch as that which 
he filled and Caesar and Pompey, and some few others around 
them, their greatest danger does not consist in fighting. A 
man's tongue makes enemies more bitter than his sword. But 
Cicero, when the time came, never shirked his foe. Whether 
it was Verres or Catiline, or Clodius or Antony, he was 
always there, ready to take that foe by the throat, and ready 
to offer his own in return. At moments such as that there 
was none of the fear which stands aghast at the wrath of the. 
injured one, and makes the man who is a coward quail before 
the eyes of him who is brave. 

His friendship for Pompey is perhaps of all the strong 
feelings of his life the one most requiring excuse, and the 
most difficult to excuse. For myself I can see why it was 
so ; but I cannot do that without acknowledging in it some- 
thing which derogated from his greatness. Had he risen 
above Pompey he would have been great indeed ; for I look 
upon it as certain that he did see that Pompey was as 
untrue to the Eepublic as Csesar. He saw it occasionally, 
but it was not borne in upon him at all times that Pompey 
was false. Csesar was not false. Csesar was an open foe. 
I doubt whether Pompey ever saw enough to be open. He 
never realised to himself more than men. He never rose to 
measures, much less to the reason for them. When Csesar 
had talked him over, and had induced him to form the Trium- 
virate, Pompey's politics were gone. Cicero never blenched. 
Whether full of new hopes he attacked Chrysogonus 
with all the energy of one to whom his injured countrymen 
were dear, or, with the settled purpose of his life, he accused 


Verres in the teeth of the coming Consul Hortensius ; 
whether in driving out Catiline, or in defending Milo, 
whether even in standing up before Caesar for Marcellus, 
or in his final onslaught upon Antony, his purpose was still 
the same. As time passed on he took to himself coarser 
weapons, and went down into the arena and fought the 
beasts at Ephesus. Alas ! it is so with mankind. Who 
can strive to do good and not fight beasts ? And who can 
fight them but after some fashion of their own? He was 
fighting beasts at Ephesus when he was defending Milo. 
He was an oligarch, but he wanted the oligarchy round 
him to be true and honest ! It was impossible. These 
men would not be just, and yet he must use them. Milo 
and Cselius and Curio were his friends. He knew them to 
be bad, but he could not throw off from him all that were 
bad men. If by these means he could win his way to 
something that might be good he would pardon their evil. 
As we make our way on to the end of his life, we find that 
his character becomes tarnished and that his high feelings 
are blunted by the party which he takes and the men 
with whom he associates. 

He did not indeed fall away altogether. The magistracy 
offered to him ; the lieutenancy offered to him, the " Free 
Legation " offered to him, the last appeal made to him that 
he would go to Rome and speak a few words, or that he 
would stay away and remain neutral, did not move him. 
He did not turn conspirator and then fight for the prize 
as Pompey had done. But he had, for so many years, clung 
to Pompey as the leader of a party, had had it so dinned 


into his ears that all must depend on Pompey, had found 
himself so bound up with the man who when appealed to 
as to his banishment had sullenly told him he could only 
do as Csesar would have him, whom he had felt to be 
mean enough to be stigmatised as Sampsiceramus, him of 
Jerusalem, the hero of Arabia, whom he knew to be desirous 
of doing with his enemies as Sulla had done with his, 
that, in spite of it all, he clung to him still ! 

I cannot but blame Cicero for this ; but yet I can excuse 
it. It is hard to have to change your leader after middle 
life, and Cicero could only have changed his by becoming 
a leader himself. We can see how hopeless it was. Would 
it not have been mean had he allowed those men to go 
and fight in Macedonia without him ? Who would have 
believed in him had he seemed to be so 'false? Not Cato, 
not Brutus, not Bibulus, not Scipio, not Marcellus. Such 
men were the leaders of the party of which he had been 
one. Would they not say that he had remained away 
because he was Caesar's man? He must follow either 
Caesar or Pompey. He knew that Pompey was beaten. 
There are things which a man knows but he cannot bring 
himself to say so even to himself. He went out to fight 
on the side already conquered, and when the thing was 
done he came home, with his heart sad, and lived at 
Brundisium, mourning his lot. 

From thence he wrote to Atticus, saying that he hardly 
saw the advantage of complying with advice which had 
been given to him that he should travel incognito to Eome. 
But it is the special reason given which strikes us as being 


so unlike the arguments which would prevail to-day. " Nor 
have I resting-places on the way sufficiently convenient for 
me to pass the entire daytime within them." 1 The " diver- 
sorium" was a place by the roadside which was always 
ready should the owner desire to come that way. It must 
be understood that he travelled with attendants, and carried 
his food with him, or sent it on before. We see at every 
turn how much money could do, but we see also how little 
money had done for the general comfort of the people. 
Brundisium is above three hundred miles from Borne, and 
the journey is the same which Horace took afterwards, going 
from the city. 2 Much had then been done to make travelling 
comfortable, or at any rate cheaper than it had been four- 
and- twenty years before. But now the journey was not 
made. He reminds Atticus in the letter that if he had not 
written through so long an interval it was not because there 
had been a dearth of subjects. It had been no doubt prudent 
for a man to be silent when so many eyes and so many ears 
were on the watch. He writes again some days later and 
assures Atticus that Csesar thinks well of his " lictors ! " 
Oh those eternal lictors ! " But what have I to do with 
lictors," he says, " who am almost ordered to leave the shores 
of Italy ? " 3 And then Csesar had sent angry messages. Cato 
and Metellus had been said to have come home. Csesar did 
not choose that this should be so, and had ordered them 
away. It was clearly manifest to every man alive now that 
Csesar was the actual master of Italy. 

1 Ad Att. lib. xi. 5. a Horace, Sat. lib. i. sat. 5. 

3 Ad Att. lib. xi. 7. 


During the whole of this winter he is on terms with 
Terentia, but he writes to her in the coldest strain. There 
are many letters to Terentia, more in number than we have 
ever known before, but they are all of the same order. I 
translate one here to show the nature of his correspondence. 
" If you are well, I am so also. The times are such that 
I expect to hear nothing from yourself, and on my part 
have nothing to write. Nevertheless, I look for your letters, 
and I write to you when a messenger is going to start. 
Voluminia ought to have understood her duty to you, and 
should have done what she did do better. There are other 
things, however, which I care for more, and grieve for more 
bitterly, as those have wished who have driven me from 
my own opinion." l Again, he writes to Atticus, deploring 
that he should have been born, so great are his troubles, 
or at any rate that one should have been born after him 
from the same mother. His brother has addressed him in 
anger, his brother who has desired to make his own affairs 
straight with Caesar, and to swim down the stream pleasantly 
with other noble Eomans of the time. I can imagine that 
with Quintus Cicero there was nothing much higher than 
the wealth which the day produced. I can fancy that he 
was possessed of intellect, and that when it was fair sailing 
with our Consul, it was all well with Quintus Cicero. But 
I can see also that when Caesar prevailed it was occasionally 
a matter of doubt with Quintus whether his brother should 
not be abandoned among other things -which were obtrusive 

1 Ad Div. xiv. 16. 


and vain. He could not quite do it. His brother compelled 
him into propriety, and carried him along within the lines 
of the oligarchy. Then Csesar fell, and Quintus saw that 
the matter was right. But Caesar though he fell, did not 
altogether fall, and therefore Quintus after all turned out 
to be in the wrong. I fancy that I can see how things went 
ill with Quintus. 

Caesar, after the battle of the Pharsalia, had followed 
Bc 47 Pompey but had failed to catch him. "When he 
aetat. 60. came U p 0n the scene in the roadstead at Alexandria, 
the murder had been effected. He then disembarked, and 
there, as circumstances turned out, was doomed to fight 
another campaign in which he nearly lost his life. It is 
not a part of my plan to write the life of Csesar, nor to 
meddle with it further than I am driven to do in seeking 
after the sources of Cicero's troubles and aspirations. But 
the story must be told in a few words. Csesar went from 
Alexandria into Asia, and, flashing across Syria, beat 
Pharnaces, and then wrote his famous "Veni Vidi Vici," 
if those words were ever written. Surely he could not have 
written them and sent them home ! Even the subservience 
of the age would not have endured words so boastful, nor 
would the glory of Csesar have so tarnished itself. He 
hurried back to Italy and quelled the mutiny of his men 
by a masterpiece of stage acting. Simply by addressing 
them as " Quirites " instead of " Milites " he appalled them 
into obedience. On this journey into Italy he came across 
Cicero. If he could be cruel without a pang, to the 
arranging the starvation of a townful of women because 


they as well as tlie men must eat, lie could be magnificent 
in his treatment of a Cicero. He had hunted to the death 
his late colleague in the Triumvirate, and had felt no 
remorse, though there seems to have been a moment when 
in Egypt the countenance of him who had so long been his 
superior, had touched him. He had not ordered Pompey's death. 
On no occasion had he wilfully put to death a Roman whose 
name was great enough to leave a mark behind. He had 
followed the convictions of his countrymen who had ever 
spared themselves. To him a thousand Gauls, or men of 
Eastern origin, were as nothing to a single Eoman nobleman. 
Whether there can be said to have been clemency in such' 
a course it is useless now to dispute. To Ceesar it was at 
any rate policy as well. If by clemency he meant that 
state of mind in which it is an evil to sacrifice the life of 
men to a spirit of revenge, Caesar was clement. He had 
moreover that feeling which induces him who wins to make 
common cause, in little things, with those who lose. We 
can see Caesar getting down from his chariot when Cicero 
came to meet him, and throwing his arms round his neck, 
walking off with him in pleasant conversation ; and we can 
fancy him talking to Cicero pleasantly of the greatness which 
in times yet to come pursuits such as his would show in 
comparison with those of Caesar's. " Cedant arma togse 
concedat laurea linguae," we can hear Ceesar say with an 
irony expressed in no tone of his voice, but still vibrating 
to the core of his heart as he thought so much of his own 
undoubted military supremacy, and absolutely nothing of his 
now undoubted literary excellence. 

VOL. n. M 


But to go back a little ; we shall find Cicero still waiting 
B c 47 at Brundisium during August and September. In 
aetat. 60. {.^Q f ormer O f these months he reminds Atticus that 
"he cannot at present sell anything but that he can put 
by something so that it may be in safety when the ruin 
shall fall upon him." 1 From this may be deduced a state 
of things very different to that above described ; but not 
contradicting it. I gather from this unintelligible letter, 
written as he tells us for the most part in his own hand- 
writing, that he was at the present moment under some 
forfeiture of the law to Caesar. It may well be that, as 
one adjudged to be a rebel to his country, his property should 
not be saleable. If that were so, Caesar in some of these 
bland moments must have revoked the sentence, and at 
such a time all sentences were within Caesar's control, 
because we know that on his return Cicero's villas were again 
within his own power. But he is in sad trouble now about 
his wife. He has written to her to send him twelve thousand 
sesterces, which he had as it were in a bag, and she sends 
him ten, saying that no more is left. If she would deduct 
something from so small a sum, what would she do if it 
were larger ? 2 Then follow two letters for his wife, a mere 
word in each, not a sign of affection, nor of complaint in 
either of them. In the first he tells her she shall be informed 
when Caesar is coming, in the latter that he is coming. 
When he has resolved whether to go and meet him or to 
remain where he is till Caesar shall have come upon him, 

1 Ad Att. lib. xi. 24. * Ad Att. Ibid. 


he wi]l again -write. Then there are three to Atticus, and 
two more to Terentia. In the first he tells him that Caesar 
is expected. Some ten or twelve days afterwards he is still 
full of grief as to his brother Quintus, whose conduct has 
been shameful. Caesar he knows is near at hand, but he 
almost hopes that he will not come to Brundisium, In the 
third, as indeed he has in various others, he complains bitterly 
of the heat. It is of such a nature that it adds to his grief. 
Shall he send word to Caesar that he will wait upon him 
nearer to Rome ? l He is evidently in a sad condition. 
Quintus, it must be remembered, had been in Gaul with 
Caesar, and had seen the rising sun. On his return to Italy 
he had not force enough to declare a political conviction, and 
to go over to Caesar boldly. He had indeed become lieu- 
tenant to his brother when in Cilicia, having left Caesar for 
the purpose. He afterwards went with his brother to the 
Pharsalus, assuring the elder Cicero that they two would still 
be of the same party. Then the great catastrophe had come, 
when Cicero returned from that wretched campaign to Brundi- 
sium, and remained there in despair as at some penal settle- 
ment. Quintus followed Caesar into Asia with his son, and 
there pleaded his own cause with him at the expense of his 
brother. Of Caesar we must all admit that though indifferent 
to the shedding of blood, arrogant, without principle in 
money, and without heart in love, he was magnificent, and 
that he injured none from vindictive motives. He passed 
on, leaving Quiutus Cicero, who as a soldier had been true 

1 Ad Att. lib. xi. 20, 21, 22. 

M 2 


to him, without as we can fancy, many words. Cicero after- 
wards interceded for his brother who had reviled him, and 
Quintus will ever after have to bear the stain of his treachery. 
Then came the two letters for his wife, with just a line in 
each. If her messenger should arrive, he will send her word 
back as to what she is to do. After an interval of nearly 
a month there is the other, ordering, in perfectly restored 
good humour, that the baths shall be ready at the Tusculau 
villa. Let the baths be all ready, and everything fit for 
the use of guests. There will probably be many of them. 1 
It is evident that Caesar has passed on in a good humour 
and has left behind him glad tidings, such as should ever 
brighten the feet of the conqueror. 

It is singular that with a correspondence such as that of 
Cicero's, of which, at least through the latter two or three 
years of his life, every letter of his to his chief friend has 
been preserved, there should have been nothing left to us 
from that friend himself. It must have been the case, as 
Middleton suggests, that Atticus, when Cicero was dead, had 
the handling of the entire MS. and had withdrawn his 
own ; either that or else Cicero and Atticus mutually agreed 
to the destruction of their joint labours and Atticus had been 
untrue to his agreement, knowing well the value of the 
documents he preserved. That there is no letter from a 
woman, not even a line to Cicero from his dear daughter, 
is much to be regretted. And yet there are letters, many 

1 Ad Div. xiv. 22 and 20. The numbers going the wrong way is only an 
indication that the letters were wrongly placed by Grsevius. 


from Cselius who is thus brought forward as almost a second 
and a younger Atticus, and from various Eomans of the day. 
When we come to the latter days of his life, in which he had 
taken upon himself the task of writing to Plancus and others 
as to their supposed duty to the State, they become numerous. 
There are ten such from Plancus, and nine from Decimus 
Brutus. And there is a whole mass of correspondence witli 
Marcus Brutus, to be taken for what it is worth. With a 
view to history they are doubtless worth much. But as throw- 
ing light on Cicero's character, except as to the vigour that 
was in the man to the last, they are not of great value. How 
is it that a correspondence which is for its main purpose so 
full, should have fallen so short in many of its details? There 
is no word, no allusion derogatory to Atticus in these letters 
which have come to us from Cselius and others. We have 
Atticus left to us, for our judgment, free from the confession 
of his own faults, and free also from the insinuations of others. 
Of whom would we wish that the familiar letters of another 
about ourselves should be published ? Would those objection- 
able epithets as to Pompey have been allowed to hold their 
ground had Pompey lived and had they been in his possession ? 
But, in reading histories and biographies, we always accept 
with a bias in favour of the person described the anecdotes 
of those who talk of them. We know that the ready wit 
of the surrounding world has taken up these affairs of the 
moment and turned them into ridicule, then as they do 
now. We discount the " Hierosolymarius." We do not 
quite believe that Bibulus never left the house while an 
enemy was to be seen. But we think that a man may be 


expected to tell the truth of himself ; at any rate to tell no 
untruth against himself. We think that Cicero of all men 
may be left to do so, Cicero who so well understood the 
use of words, and could use them in his own defence so deftly. 
I maintain that it has been that very deftness which has 
done him all the harm. Not one of those letters of the last 
years would have been written as it is now had Cicero 
thought when writing it, that from it would his conduct 
have been judged after two thousand years. " No" will say 
my readers, " that is their value ; they would not have other- 
wise been true, as they are. We should not then have learned 
his secrets." I reply, " It is a hard bargain to make. Others 
do not make such bargains on the same terms. But be sure 
at any rate that you read them aright. Be certain that 
you make the necessary allowances. Do not accuse him of 
falsehood because he unsays on a Tuesday the words he 
said on the Monday. Bear in mind on his behalf all the 
temporary ill that humanity is heir to. Could you, living at 
Brundisium during the summer months c when ycu were 
scarcely able to endure the weight of the sun' l have had all 
your intellects about you and have been able always to 
choose your words ? " No, indeed ! These letters, if truth is 
to be expected from them, have to be read with all the subtle 
distinctions necessary for understanding the frame of mind 
in which they were written. His anger boils over here, and 
he is hot. Here tenderness has mastered him and the love 
of old days. He is weak in body just now, and worn out in 

1 Ad Att. lib. xi. 22. 


spirit ; he is hopeless, almost to the brink of despair ; he is 
bright with wit, he is full of irony, he is purposely enigmatic, 
all of which require an Atticus who knew him and the 
people among whom he had lived, and the times in which 
the events took place, for their special reading. Who is 
there can read them now, so as accurately to decipher every 
intended detail ? Then comes some critic who will not even 
attempt to read them ; who rushes through them by the 
light of some foregone conclusion and missing the point at 
which the writer subtly aims, tells us of some purpose of 
which he was altogether innocent ! Because he jokes about 
the augurship we are told how miserably base he was, and 
how ready to sell his country ! 

During the whole of the last year he must have been 
tortured by various turns of mind. Had he done well in 
joining himself to Pompey, and having done so had he 
done well in severing himself immediately on Pompey 's 
death, from the Pompeians ? Looking at the matter as from 
a standpoint quite removed from it we are inclined to say 
that he had done well in both. He could not without 
treachery have gone over to Csesar when Caesar had come 
to the gate of Italy and, as it were with a blast of his 
trumpet, had demanded the Consulship, a Triumph, the use of 
his legions and the continuance of his military power. " Let 
Pompey put down his, and I will put down mine," he had 
said. Had Pompey put down his, Pompey, and Cicero, Cato 
and Brutus, and Bibulus, would all have had to walk at the 
heels of Caesar. "When Pompey declared that he would 
contest the point he declared for them all. Cicero was bound 


to go to Pharsalia. But when, by Pompey's incompetence, 
Caesar was the victor, when Pompey had fallen at the Nile, 
and all the lovers of the fishponds and the intractable 
oligarchs, and the cutthroats of the Empire, such as young 
Pompey had become, had scattered themselves far and wide, 
some to Asia, some to Illyricum, some to Spain, and more to 
Africa, as a herd of deer shall be seen to do when a vast 
hound has appeared among them, with his jaws already 
dripping with blood, was Cicero then to take his part with 
any of them ? -I hold that he did what dignity required, and 
courage also. He went back to Italy, and there he waited 
till the conqueror should come. 

It must have been very bitter. Never to have become 
great has nothing in it of bitterness for a noble spirit. What 
matters it to the unknown man whether a Caesar or a Pompey 
is at the top of all things ? Or if it does matter, as indeed 
that question of his governance does matter to every man 
who has a soul within him to be turnel this way or that, 
which way he is turned, though there may be inner regrets 
that Caesar should become the tyrant, perhaps keener regrets 
if the truth were all seen, that Pompey's hands should be 
untrammelled, who sees them ? I can walk down to my club 
with my brow unclouded, or, unless I be stirred to foolish 
wrath by the pride of some one equally vain, can enjoy myself 
amidst the festivities of the hour. It is but a little affair to me. 
If it come in my way to do a thing, I will do my best, and 
there is an end of it. The sense of responsibility is not 
there, nor the grievous weight of having tried but failed to 
govern mankind. But to have clung to high places, to have 


sat in the highest seat of all with infinite honour, to have 
been called by others, and, worse still, to have called myself 
the saviour of my country ; to have believed in myself that 
I was sufficient, that 1 alone could do it, that I could bring 
back by my own justice and integrity, my erring countrymen 
to their former simplicity, and then to have found myself 
fixed in a little town, just in Italy, waiting for the great 
conqueror, who though my friend in things social was 
opposed to me body and soul as to rules of life, that, I 
say, must have been beyond the bitterness of death. 

During this year he had made himself acquainted with the 
details of that affair, whatever it might be, which led to his 
divorce soon after his return to Rome. He had lived about 
thirty years with his wife, and the matter could not have 
been to him but the cause of great uuhappiness. Terentia 
was not only the mother of his children, but she had been to 
him also the witness of his rise in life and the companion of 
his fall. He was one who would naturally learn to love those 
with whom he was conversant. He seems to have projected 
himself out of his own time into those modes of thought 
which have come to us with Christianity, and such a 
separation from this woman after an intercourse of so 
many years must have been very grievous to him. All 
married Romans underwent divorce, quite as a matter of 
course. There were many reasons. A young wife is more 
agreeable to the man's taste than one who is old. A rich wife 
is more serviceable than a poor. A new wife is a novelty. 
A strange wife is an excitement. A little wife is a relief to 
one overburdened with the flesh ; a buxom wife to him who 


has become tired of the pure spirit. Xantippe asks too much, 
while Griselda is too tranquil. And then, as a man came up 
in the world, causes for divorce grew without even the trouble 
of having to search for faults. Csesar required that his wife 
should not be ill spoken of, and therefore divorced her. 
Pompey cemented the Triumvirate with a divorce. We 
cannot but imagine that when men had so much the best 
of it in the affairs of life, a woman had always the worst of 
it in these enforced separations. But as the wind is tempered 
to the shorn lamb, so were divorces made acceptable to 
Eoman ladies. No woman was disgraced by a divorce, and 
they who gave over their husbands at the caprice of a 
moment to other embraces, would usually find consolation. 
Terentia when divorced from Cicero was at least fifty, and 
we are told she had the extreme honour of having married 
Sallust after her break with Cicero. They say that she 
married twice again after Sallust's death, and that having 
lived nearly through the reign of Augustus she died at length 
at the age of a hundred and three. Divorce at any rate did 
not kill her. But we cannot conceive but that so sudden a 
disruption of all the ties of life must have been grievous to 
Cicero. We shall find him in the next chapter marrying a 
young ward, and then, too, divorcing her ; but here we have 
only to deal with the torments Tereutia inflicted on him. 
What those torments were we do not know, and shall never 
learn unless Ijy chance the lost letters of Atticus should come 
to light. But the general idea has been that the lady had, in 
league with a freedman and steward in her service, been guilty 
of fraud against her husband. I do not know that we have 


much cause to lament the means of ascertaining the truth. It 
is sad to find that the great men with whose name we are 
occupied have been made subject to those " whips and scorns 
of time " which we thought to be peculiar to ourselves, be- 
cause they have stung us. Terentia, Cicero's wife two 
thousand years ago, sent him word that he had but 100 left 
in his box at home, when he himself knew well that there 
must be something more. That would have gone for nothing, 
had there not been other things before that,- many other 
things. So in spite of his ordering at her hands the baths 
and various matters to be got ready for his friends at his 
Tusculum, a very short time after his return there he had 
divorced her. 

During this last year he had been engaged on what has 
since been found to be the real work of his life. He had 
already written much, but had written as one who had been 
anxious to fill up vacant spaces of time as they came in his 
way. From this time forth he wrote as does one who has 
reconciled himself to the fact that there are no more days to 
be lost if he intends before the sun be set to accomplish an 
appointed task. He had already compiled the " De Oratore," 
the "De Eepublica," and the "De Legibus." Out of the 
many treatises which we have from Cicero's hands these are 
they which are known as the works of his earlier years. He 
commenced the year with an inquiry, "De optimo genere 
oratorum," which he intended as a preface to the translations 
which he made of the great speeches of ^Eschines and De- 
mosthenes " De Corona." These translations are lost, though 
the preface remains. He then translated, or rather paraphrased 


the " Timseus " of Plato, of which a large proportion has come 
down to us, and the " Protagoras " of which we have lost all 
but a sentence or two. We have his " Oratoriae Partitiones," 
in which, in a dialogue between himself and his son, he 
repeats the lessons on oratory which he has given to the 
young man. It is a recapitulation, in short, of all that had 
been said on a subject which has since been made common, 
and which owed its origin to the work of much earlier years- 
It is but dull reading, but I can imagine that even in these 
days it may be useful to a young lawyer. There is a cynical 
morsel among these precepts, which is worth observing, " Cito 
enim arescit lachryma prsesertim in alienis malis," l and 
another grandly simple, " Nihil enim est aliud eloquentia nisi 
copiose loquens sapientia." Can we fancy anything more 
biting than the idea that the tears caused by the ills of 
another soon grow dry on the orator's cheek, or more wise than 
that which tells us that eloquence is no more than wisdom 
speaking eloquently ? Then he wrote the six Paradoxes ad- 
dressed to Brutus, or rather he then gave them to the world, 
for they were surely written at an earlier date. They are short 
treatises on trite subjects, put into beautiful language, so as 
to arrest the attention of all readers by the unreasonableness 
of their reasoning. The most remarkable is the third in 
which he endeavoured to show that a man cannot be wise 
unless he be all wise, a doctrine which he altogether over- 
turns in his " De Amicitia," written but four years afterwards. 
Cicero knew well what was true, and wrote his paradox in 
order to give a zest to the subject. In the fourth and the 

1 Oratories Partitiones, xvii. and xxiii. 


sixth are attacks upon Clodius and Crassus, and are here 
republished in what M T ould have been the very worst taste 
amidst the politeness of our modern times. A man now may 
hate and say so, while his foe is still alive and strong; 
but with the Eomans he might continue to hate and might 
republish the words which he had written eight years after 
the death of his victim. 

I know nothing of Cicero's which so much puts us in mind 
of the struggles of the modern authors to make the most of 
every word that has come from them, as do these paradoxes. 
They remind us of some writer of leading articles who gets 
together a small bundle of essays and then gives them to the 
world. Each of them has done well at its time, but that has 
not sufficed for his ambition. Therefore they are dragged 
out into the light and put forward with a separate claim for 
attention, as though they could stand well on their own legs. 
But they cannot stand alone, and they fall from having been 
put into a position other than that for which they were 
intended when written. 



THE battle of Thapsus, in Africa, took place in the spring 
B c 46 ^ ^is year, and Cato destroyed himself with true 
setat. 61. S t i ca i tranquillity, determined not to live under 
Caesar's rule. If we may believe the story which, probably, 
Hirtius has given us in his account of the civil war in Africa 
and which has come down to us together with Caesar's " Com- 
mentaries," Cato left his last instructions to some of his officers, 
and then took his sword into his bed with him, and stabbed 
himself. Cicero, who, in his dream of Scipio has given his 
readers such excellent advice in regard to suicide, has under- 
stood that Cato must be allowed the praise of acting up to his 
own principles. He would die rather than behold the face of 
the tyrant who had enslaved him. 1 To Cato it was nothing 
that he should leave to others the burden of living under 
Caesar ; but to himself the idea of a superior caused an unen- 
durable affront. The " Catonis nobile letum " has reconciled 

1 De Officiis, lib. 1 c. xxxi. " Catoni cum incredibilem tribuisset natura 
gravitatem, eamque ipse perpctua constantia roborasset, semperque in pro- 
posito susneptoque consilio permansisset, moriendum potius quam tyranni 
vultmn aspiciendum fuit." 


itself to the poets of all ages. Men indeed have refused to see 
that he fled from a danger which he felt to be too much for 
him, and that in doing so he had lacked something of the 
courage of a man. Many other Eomans of the time did the 
same thing, but to none has been given all the honour which 
has been allowed to Cato. 

Cicero felt as others have done, and allowed all his little 
jealousies to die away. It was but a short time before that 
Cato had voted against the decree of the Senate giving 
Cicero his " supplication." Cicero had then been much 
annoyed ; but now Cato had died, fighting for the Eepublic, 
and was to be forgiven all personal offences. Cicero wrote 
an eulogy of Cato which was known by the name of " Cato," 
and was much discussed at Home at the time. It has now 
been lost. He sent it to Csesar, having been bold enough to 
say in it whatever occurred to him should be said in Cato's 
praise. We may imagine that had it not pleased him to 
be generous, had he not been governed by that feeling of 
" De mortuis nil nisi bonum," which is now common to us 
all, he might have said much that was not good. Cato 
had endeavoured to live up to the austerest rules of the 
Stoics, a mode of living altogether antagonistic to Cicero's 
views. But we know that he praised Cato to the full, and 
we know also that Csesar nobly took the praise in good part, 
as coming from Cicero, and answered it ii\ an anti-Cato, in 
which he stated his reasons for differing from Cicero. We 
can understand how Caesar should have shown that the rigid 
Stoic was not a man likely to be of service to his country. 

There came up at this period a question which made itself 


popular among the optimates of Borne as to the return or 
Marcellus. The man of Como, whom Marcellus had flogged, 
will be remembered, the Roman citizen who had first been 
made a citizen by Caesar. This is mentioned now not as the 
cause of Cesar's enmity, who did not care much probably 
for his citizen, but as showing the spirit of the man. He, 
Marcellus, had been Consul four years since, B.C. 51, and had 
then endeavoured to procure Caesar's recall from his province. 
He was one of the " optimates," an oligarch altogether 
opposed to Caesar, a Boman nobleman of fairly good repute, 
who had never bent to Caesar, but had believed thoroughly 
in his order and had thought, till the day of Pharsalia came, 
that the Consuls and the Senate would rule for ever. The 
day of Pharsalia did come, and Marcellus went into voluntary 
banishment in Mitylene. After Pharsalia Caesar's clemency 
began to make itself known. There was a pardon for 
almost every Boman' who had fought against him and 
would accept it. No spark of anger burned in Caesar's 
bosom, except against one or two, of whom Marcellus 
was one. He was too wise to be angry with men whose 
services he might require. It was Caesar's wish not to drive 
out the good men, but to induce them to remain in Bomo 
living by the grace of his favour. Marcellus had many 
friends, and it seems that a public effort was made to obtain 
for him permission to come back to Borne. We must 
imagine that Caesar had hitherto refused, probably with the 
idea of making his final concession the more valuable. At 
last the united Senators determined to implore his grace, and 
the Consulars rose one after another in their places, and all, 


with one exception, 1 asked that Marcellus might be allowed 
to return. Cicero, however, had remained silent to the last. 
There must have been, I think, some plot to get Cicero on 
to his legs. He had gone to meet Csesar at Brundisium when 
he came back from the East, had returned to Rome under his 
auspices, and had lived in pleasant friendship with Caesar's 
friends. Pardon seems to have been accorded to Cicero 
without an effort. As far as he was concerned that hostile 
journey to Dyrrachium, for he did not travel farther towards 
the camp, counted for nothing with Ca?sar. He was allowed 
to live in peace, at Rome, or at his villas, as he might please, 
so long as Caesar might rule. The idea seems to have been 
that he should gradually become absorbed among Cassar's 
followers. But hitherto he had remained silent. It was 
now six years since his voice had been heard in Rome. 
He had spoken for Milo, or had intended to speak, and, 
in the same affair, for Munatius Plancus, and for Saufeius, B.C. 
52. He had then been in his fifty-fifth year, and it might 
well be that six years of silence at such a period of his life 
would not be broken. It was manifestly his intention not to 
speak again, at any rate in the Senate ; though the threats 
made by him as to his total retirement should not be taken 
as meaning much. Such threats from statesmen depend 
generally on the wishes of other men. But he held his place 
in the Senate and occasionally attended the debates. When 
this affair of Marcellus came on, and all the Senators of 
Consular rank, excepting only Volcatius and Cicero, had 

1 This was Lucius Volcatius Tullus. 
VOL. It. N 


risen and had implored Caesar in a few words to condescend 
to be generous, when Claudius Marcellus had knelt at Caesar's 
feet to ask for his brother's liberty, and Csesar himself, after 
reminding them of the bitterness of the man, had still 
declared that he could not refuse the prayers of the Senate, 
then Cicero, as though driven by the magnanimity of the 
conqueror, rose from his place, and poured forth his thanks 
in the speech which is still extant. 

That used to be the story till there came the German 
critic Wolf, who at the beginning of this century told us 
that Cicero did not utter the words attributed to him and 
could not have uttered them. According to Wolf it would 
be doing Cicero an egregious wrong to suppose him capable 
of having used such words, which are not Latin, and which 
were probably written by some ignoramus in the time of 
Tiberius. Such a verdict might have been taken as fatal, for 
Wolfs scholarship and powers of criticism are acknowledged, 
in spite of La Harpe, the French scholar and critic, who 
has named the Marcellns as a thing of excellence, comparing 
it with the eulogistic speeches of Isocrates. The praise of 
La Harpe was previous to the condemnation of Wolf; 
and we might have been willing to accede to the German 
as being the later and probably the more accurate. Mr. 
Long, the British editor of the Orations, Mr. Long, who 
has so loudly condemned the four speeches supposed to 
have been made after Cicero's return from exile, gives us 
no certain guidance. Mr. Long at any rate, has not been so 
disgusted by the Tiberian Latin as to feel himself bound to 
repudiate it. If he can read the "Pro Marcello," so can I, and 


so, my reader, might you do probably without detriment. But 
these differences among the great philologic critics tend to 
make us, who are so infinitely less learned, better contented 
with our own lot. I, who had read the " Pro Marcello " 
without stumbling over its halting Latinity, should have 
felt myself crushed when I afterwards came across Wolf's 
denunciations, had I not been somewhat comforted by La 
Harpe. But when I found that Mr. Long in his intro- 
duction to the piece, though he discusses Wolf's doctrine, 
still gives to the orator the advantage as it may be of 
his "imprimatur," I felt that I might go on, and not be 
ashamed of myself. 1 

This is the story that has now to be told of the speech 
"Pro Marcello." At the time the matter ended very tragic- 
ally. As soon as Csesar had yielded, Cicero wrote to Mar- 
cellus giving him strong reasons for coming home. Marcellus 
answered him saying that it was impossible. He thanks 
Cicero shortly, but, with kindly dignity, he declines. " With 
the comforts of the city I can well dispense," he says. 2 Then 
Cicero urges him again and again, using excellent arguments 
for his return, which at length prevail. In the spring of 
the next year Marcellus, on his way back to Rome, is at 
Athens. There Servius Sulpicius spends a day with him, 

1 But it is now, I believe, the opinion of scholars that Wolf has been 
proved to be wrong, and the words to have been the very words of Cicero, 
by the publication of certain fragments of ancient scholia on the " Pro Mar- 
cdlo " which have been discovered by Cardinal Mai siuce the time of the 

2 Ad Div. iv. 11. 

N 2 


But just as Sulpicius is about to pass on there comes a 
slave to him who tells him that Marcellus has been 
murdered. His friend Magius Chilo had stabbed him 
overnight, and had then destroyed himself. It was said 
that Chilo had asked Marcellus to pay his debts for him, and 
that Marcellus had refused. It seems to be more probable 
that Chilo had his own reasons for not choosing that his 
friend should return to Eome. 

Looking back at my own notes on the speech, it would 
make with us but a ten minutes' after-dinner speech, I see 
that it is said " that it is chiefly remarkable for the beauty 
of the language, and the abjectness of the praise of Caesar." 
This was before I had heard of Wolf. As to the praise, 
I doubt whether it should be called abject, regard being had 
to the feelings of the moment in which it was delivered. 
Cicero had risen to thank Caesar, on \vhose breath the recall 
of Marcellus depended, for his unexpected courtesy. In 
England we should not have thanked Caesar as Cicero did. 
" 0, Caesar, there is no flood of eloquence, no power of the 
tongue or of the pen, no richness of words, which may emblazon, 
or even dimly tell the story of your great deeds." l Such 
language is unusual with us, as it would also be unusual 
to abuse our Pisos and our Vatiniuses as did Cicero. It was 
the Southerner and the Eoman who spoke to Southerners 
and to Romans. But, undoubtedly, there was present to the 
mind of Cicero the idea of saying words which Caesar might 
receive with pleasure. He was dictator, emperor, lord of all 

"Pro Marcello," ii. 


things, king. Cicero should have remained away, as Mar- 
cellus had done, were he not prepared to speak after this 
fashion. He had long held aloof from speech. At length 
the time had come when he was, as it were, caught in a 
trap, and compelled to be eloquent. 

The silence had been broken, and in the course of the 
B c 46 au ^ umn ne spoke on behalf of Ligarius, beseeching 
setat. 61. ^g con q ueror to be again merciful. This case was 
by no means similar to that of Marcellus, who was exiled by 
no direct forfeiture of his right to live in Italy, but who had 
expatriated himself. In this case Ligarius had been banished 
with others, but it seems that the punishment had been 
inflicted on him, not from the special ill will of Csesar but 
from the malice of certain enemies who, together with 
Ligarius, had found themselves among Pompey's followers 
when Csesar crossed the Rubicon. Ligarius had at this time 
been left as acting governor in Africa. In the confusion of 
the times an unfortunate Pompeian named Varus had arrived 
in Africa, and to him, as being superior in rank, Ligarius 
had given up the government. Varus had then gone, leav- 
ing Ligarius still acting, and one Tubero had come with his 
son, and had demanded the office. Ligarius had refused to 
give it up, and the two Tuberos had departed, leaving the 
province in anger, and had fought at the Pharsalus. After 
the battle they made their peace with Caesar, and in the 
scramble that ensued Ligarius was banished. Now the 
case was brought into the courts, in which Csesar sat as 
judge. The younger Tubero accused Ligarius, and Cicero 
defended him. It seems, that having been enticed to open 


his mouth on behalf of Marcellus, he found himself launched 
again into public life. But how great was the difference 
from his old life ! It is not to the " Judices " or " Patres 
Couscripti," or to the " Quirites " that he now addresses 
himself, determined by the strength of his eloquence to 
overcome the opposition of stubborn minds, but to 
Caesar, whom he has to vanquish simply by praise. Once 
again he does the same thing when pleading for Deiotarus 
the King of Galatia, and it is impossible to deny as we read 
the phrases, that the orator sinks in our esteem. It is not so 
much that we judge him to be small as that he has ceased to be 
great. He begins his speech for Ligarius by saying, " My kins- 
man Tubero has brought before you, Caesar, a new crime, 
and one not heard of up to this day, that Ligarius has been in 
Africa." 1 The commencement would have been happy enough 
if it had not been addressed to Csesar. For he was addressing a 
judge, not appointed by any form, but self-assumed, a judge 
by military conquest. We cannot imagine how Csesar found 
time to sit there, with his legions round him, still under 
arms, and Spain not wholly conquered. But he did do so, 
and allowed himself to be persuaded to the side of mercy. 
Ligarius came back to Eome, and was one of those who 
plunged their daggers into him. But I cannot think that 
he should have been hindered by this trial and by Caesar's 
mercy from taking such a step, if by nothing else. Brutus 
and Cassius also stabbed him. The question to be decided 

1 " Pro Ligario," L 


is whether on public grounds these men were justified in 
killing him, a question as to which I should be premature 
in expressing an opinion here. 

There are some beautiful passages in this oration. " Who 
is there, I ask," he says, " who alleges Ligarius to have been 
in fault because he was in Africa ? He does so, who himself 
was most anxious to be there, and now complains that he 
was refused admittance by Ligarius, he who was in arms 
against Caesar. What was your sword doing, Tubero, in 
that Pharsalian army ? Whom did you seek to kill then ? 
What was the meaning of your weapon ? What was it 
that you desired so eagerly, with those eyes and hands, with 
that passion in your heart ? I press him too much. The 
young man seems to be disturbed. I will speak of myself 
then. For I also was in that army." : This was in Caesar's 
presence, and no doubt told with Caesar. We were all to- 
gether in the same cause, you, and I, and Ligarius. Why 
should you and I be pardoned and not Ligarius ? The 
oration is for the most part simply eulogistic. At any rate 
it was successful, and became at Eome, for the time, extremely 
popular. He writes about it early in the following year, to 
Atticus, who has urged him to put something into it, before 
it was published, to mitigate the feeling against Tubero. Cicero 
says in his reply to Atticus that the copies have already 
been given to the public, and that, indeed, he is not anxious 
on Tubero's behalf. 

Early in this year he had divorced Terentia and seems at 

1 "-Pro Ligario," iii. 


once to have married Publilia. Publilia had been his ward, 
and is supposed to have had a fortune of her own. He 
explains his own motives very clearly in a letter to his friend 
Plancius. In these wretched times he would have formed no 
new engagement unless his own affairs had been as sad for 
him as were those of the Republic. But when he found that 
they to whom his prosperity should have been of the greatest 
concern were plotting against him within his own walls, he 
was forced to strengthen himself against the perfidy of his old 
inmates by placing his trust in new. 1 It must have been 
very bad with him when he had recourse to such a step as 
this. Shortly after this letter just quoted had been written, 
he divorced Publilia also, we are told because Publilia had 
treated Tullia with disrespect. We have no details on 
the subject, but we can well understand the pride of the 
young woman who declined to hear the constant praise 
of her step- daughter and thought herself to be quite as 
good as Tullia. At any rate she was sent away quickly 
from her new home, having remained there only long 
enougli to have made not the most creditable episode in 
Cicero's life. 

At this time Dolabella, who assumed the Consulship upon 
Caesar's death, and Hirtius, who became Consul during the 
next year, used to attend upon Cicero and take lessons in 
elocution. So at least the story has been told, from a letter 
written in this year to his friend Pcetus ; but I should imagine 
that the lessons were not much in earnest. " Why do you 

1 Ad Fum. lib. iv. 14. 


talk to me of your tunny fish, your pilot fish, and your 
cheese and sardines ? Hirtius and Dolabella preside over my 
banquets, and I teach them in return to make speeches." 1 
From this we may learn that Caesar's friends were most 
anxious to be also Cicero's friends. It may be said that 
Dolabella was his son-in-law ; but Dolabella was at this 
moment on the eve of being divorced. It was in spite of 
his marriage that Dolabella still clung to Cicero. All Caesar's 
friends in Eome did the same ; so that I am disposed to think 
that for this year, just till Tullia's death, he was falling, not 
into a happy state, but to the passive contentment of those 
who submit themselves to be ruled over by a single master. 
He had struggled all his life, and now finding that he must 
yield, he thought that he might as well do so gracefully. It 
was so much easier to listen to the state secrets of Balbus, 
and hear from Oppius how the money was spent, and then to 
dine with Hirtius or Dolabella, than to sit ever scowling at 
home, as Cato would have done had Cato lived. But with 
his feelings about the Republic at heart, how sad it must 
have been ! Cato was gone, and Pompey, and Bibulus ; and 
Marcellus was either gone or just about to go. Old age was 
creeping on. It was better to write philosophy, in friendship 
with Caesar's friends, than to be banished again whither 
he could not write it at all. Much no doubt he did, in 
preparation for all those treatises which the next eighteen 
months were to bring forth. 

Caesar, just at the end of the year, had been again 

1 Ad Div. lib. ix. 16. 


called to Spain, B.C. 46, to quell the last throbbings of the 
Pompeians, and then to fight the final battle of Munda. It 
would seem odd to us that so little should have been said 
about such an event by Cicero, and that the little should 
depend on the education of his son, were it not that if we look 
at our own private letters, written to-day to our friends, we 
find the same omission of great things. To Cicero the doings 
of his son were of more immediate moment than the doings 
'of Csesar. The boy had been anxious to enlist for the 
Spanish war. Quintus, his cousin, had gone, and young 
Marcus was anxious to flutter his feathers beneath the eyes 
of royalty. At his age it was nothing to him that he had 
been taken to Pharsalia and made to bear arms on the 
opposite side. Csesar had become Csesar since he had learned 
to form his opinion on politics, and on Caesar's side all things 
seemed to be bright and prosperous. The lad was anxious 
to get away from his new stepmother, and asked his father 
for the means to go with the army to Spain. It appears 
by Cicero's letter to Atticus on the subject 1 that in discussing 
the matter with his son he did yield. These Roman fathers, 
in whose hands we are told were the very lives of their 
sons, seem to have been much like Christian fathers of modern 
days in their indulgences. The lad was now nineteen years 
old, and does not appear to have been willing, at the first 
parental attempt, to give up his military appanages and that 
swagger of the young officer which is so dear to the would-be 
military mind. Cicero tells him that if he joined the army 

1 Ad Att. lib. xii. 7. 


he would find his cousin treated with greater favour than 
himself. Young Quintus was older, and had been already able 
to do something to push himself with Caesar's friends. " Sed 
tarnen permisi." " Nevertheless, I told him he might go," said 
Cicero sadly. But he did not go. He was allured, probably, 
by the promise of a separate establishment at Athens, 
whither he was sent to study with Cratippus. We find 
another proof of Cicero's wealth in the costliness of his son's 
household at Athens, as premeditated by the father. He is 
to live as do the sons of other great noblemen. He even 
names the young noblemen with whom he is to live. 
Bibulus was of the Calpurnian "gens," Acidinus of the 
Manlian, and Messala of the Valerian, and these are the 
men whom Cicero, the " Novus Homo." from Arpinum, selects 
as those who shall not live at a greater cost than his son. 1 
" He will not, however, at Athens want a horse." Why not ? 
Why should not a young man so furnished want a horse 
at Athens. " There are plenty here at home for the road," 
says Cicero. So young Cicero is furnished, and sent forth 
to learn philosophy and Greek. But no one has assayed 
to tell us why he should not want the horse. Young Cicero 
when at Athens did not do well. He writes home in the 
coming year, to Tiro, two letters which have been preserved 
for us, and which seem to give us but a bad account at 
any rate of his sincerity. " The errors of his youth," he 
says, " have afflicted him grievously." " Not only is his mind 
shocked, but his ears cannot bear to hear of his own iniquity." 2 

1 Ad Att. lib. xii. 32. 2 Ad Div. lib. xvi. 21. 


"And now," he says, "I will give you a double joy to 
compensate all the anxiety I have occasioned you. Know 
that I live with Cratippus, my master, more like a son than 
a pupil." " I spend all my days with him ; and very often 
part of the night." But he seems to have had some wit. 
Tiro has been made a freedman, and has bought a farm for 
himself. Young Marcus, from whom Tiro has asked for 
some assistance which Marcus cannot give him, jokes with 
him as to his country life, telling him that he sees him saving 
the apple pips at dessert. Of the subsequent facts of the life 
of young Marcus we do not know much. He did not suffer 
in the proscriptions of Antony and Augustus, as did his 
father and uncle and his cousin. He did live to be chosen 
as Consul with Augustus, and had the reputation of a great 
drinker. For this latter assertion we have only the authority 
of Pliny the Elder, who tells us an absurd story, among the 
wonders of drinking which he adduces. Middleton says 
a word or two on behalf of the young Cicero, which are 
as well worthy of credit as anything else that has been 
told. One last glance at him which we can credit is given 
in that letter to Tiro, and that we admit seems to us to be 

In the spring of the year Cicero lost his daughter Tullia. 

B c 45. ^ e nave fi rst a letter of his to Lepta, a man with 

aetat. 62. w ] lom h e jj a( j become intimate, saying that he 

had been kept in Eome by Tullia's confinement, and that 

now he is still detained, though her health is sufficiently 

1 Pliny. Hist. Nat. lib. xiv. 28. 


confirmed, by the expectation of obtaining from Dolabella's 
agents the first repayment of her dowry. The repayment of 
the divorced lady's marriage portion was a thing of every- 
day occurrence in Eome, when she was allowed to take away 
as much as she had brought with her. Cicero, however, 
failed to get back Tullia's dowry. But he writes in good 
spirits. He does not think that he cares to travel any 
more. He has a house at Rome better than any of his 
villas in the country, and greater rest than in the most 
desert region. His studies are now never interrupted. He 
thinks it probable that Lepta will have to come to him 
before he can be induced to go to Lepta. In the meantime 
let the young Lepta take care and read his Hesiod. 1 

Then he writes in the spring to Atticus a letter from 
Antium, and we first hear that Tullia is dead. She had 
seemed to recover from childbirth ; but her strength did not 
suffice, and she was no more. 2 A boy had been born and 
was left alive. In subsequent letters we find that Cicero 
gives instructions concerning him, and speaks of providing 
for him in his will. 3 But of the child we hear nothing 
more, and must surmise that he also died. Of Tullia's 
death we have no further particulars ; but we may well 
imagine that the troubles of the world had been very 
heavy on her. The little stranger was being born at the 
moment of her divorce from her third husband. She was 
about thirty-two years of age, and it seems that Cicero had 
taken consolation in her misfortunes from the expected 

1 Ad Div. lib. vi. 18. 2 Ad Att. lib. xii. 12. 

Ad Att. lib. xii. 18 and 28. 


pleasure of her companionship. She was now dead, and he 
was left alone. 

She had died in February, and we know nothing of the 
first outbreak of his sorrow. It appears that he at first 
buried himself for a while in a villa belonging to Atticus, 
near Borne, and that he then retreated to his own at Astura. 
From thence, and afterwards from Antium, there are a large 
number of letters all dealing with the same subject. He 
declares himself to be inconsolable; but he does take con- 
solation from two matters, from his books on philosophy, 
and from an idea which occurs to him that he will per- 
petuate the name of Tullia for ever by the erection of a 
monument that shall be as nearly immortal as stones and 
bricks can make it. 

His letters to Atticus at this time are tedious to the 
general reader, because he reiterates so often his instructions 
as to the purchase of the garden near Eome, in which the 
monument is to be built; but they are at the same time 
touching and natural. " Nothing has been written," he says, 
"for the lessening of grief, which I have not read at your 
house ; but my sorrow breaks through it all." 1 Then he 
tells Atticus that he too has endeavoured to console him- 
self by writing a treatise on " Consolation." " Whole days 
I write. Not that it does any good." In that he was wrong. 
He could find no cure for his grief; but he did know that 
continued occupation would relieve him, and therefore he 
occupied himself continually. " Totos dies scribo. " By 

1 Ad Att. xii. 14. 


doing so he did contrive not to break his heart. In a sub- 
sequent letter he says, " Reading and writing do not soften 
it ; but they deaden it." l 

On the Appian way, a short distance out of Rome, the 
traveller is shown a picturesque ancient building, of enormous 
strength, called the Mole of Csecilia Metella. It is a castle 
in size, but is believed to have been the tomb erected to 
the memory of Csecilia, the daughter of Metellus Creticus, and 
the wife of Crassus the Rich. History knows of her nothing 
more, and authentic history hardly knows so much of the 
stupendous monument. There it stands, however, and is sup- 
posed to be proof of what might be done for a Roman lady 
in the way of perpetuating her memory. She was at any rate 
older than Tullia, having been the wife of a man older than 
Tullia's father. If it be the case that this monument be of the 
date named, it proves to us, at least, that the notion of erecting 
such monuments was then prevalent. Some idea of a similar 
kind, of a monument equally stupendous and that should 
last as long, seems to have taken a firm hold of Cicero's 
mind. He has read all the authors he could find on the 
subject, and they agree that it shall be done in the fashion 
he points out. He does not, he says, consult Atticus on that 
matter, nor on the architecture ; for he has already settled 
on the design of one Cluatius. What he wants Atticus to 
do for him now is to assist him in buying the spot on 
which it shall be built. Many gardens near Rome are 
named. If Drusus makes a difficulty Atticus must see 

1 Ad Att. lib. xii. 18 and 28. 


Damasippus. Then there are those which belong to Sica 
and to Silius ! But at last the matter dies away, and even 
the gardens are not bought. We are led to imagine that 
Atticus has been opposed to the monument from first to 
last, and that the immense cost of constructing such a temple 
as Cicero had contemplated is proved to him to be injudicious. 
There is a charming letter written to him at this time by 
his friend Sulpicius showing the great feeling entertained 
for him. But, as I have said before, I doubt whether that 
or any other phrases of consolation were of service to him. 
It was necessary for him to wait and bear it, and the more 
work that he did when he was bearing it, the easier it was 
borne. Lucceius and Torquatus wrote to him on the same 
subject, and we have his answers. 

In September Cassar returned from Spain having at last 
B _ 45 conquered the Eepublic. All hope for liberty was 
aetat. 62. now g 0ne> Atticus had instigated Cicero to write 
something to Caesar as to his victories, something that 
should be complimentary, and at the same time friendly and 
familiar. But Cicero had replied that it was impossible. 
" When I feel," he said, " that to draw the breath of life is 
in itself base, how base would be my assent to what has 
been done." l " But it is not only that. There are not words 
in which such a letter ever can be written." " Do you not 
know that Aristotle when he addressed himself to Alexander 
wrote to a youth who had been modest ; but then, when he 
had once heard himself called king, he became proud, cruel, 

1 Ad Att. lib. xiii. 28. 


and unrestrained ? How then shall I now write in terms 
which shall suffice for his pride to the man who has been 
equalled to Eomulus ? " It was true, Csesar had now returned 
inflated with such pride that Brutus, and Cassius, and Casca 
could no longer endure him. He came back and triumphed 
over the five lands in which he had conquered, not the 
enemies of Borne, but Eome itself. He triumphed nominally 
over the Gauls, the Egyptians, the Asiatics of Pontus, over 
the Africans, and the Spaniards ; but his triumph was in truth 
over the Eepublic. There appears from Suetonius to have 
been five separate triumphal processions, each at the interval 
of a few days. 1 Amidst the glory of the first Vercingetorix 
was strangled. To the glory of the third was added, as 
Suetonius tell us, these words, " Veni, vidi, vici ; " displayed 
on a banner. This I think more likely than that he had 
written them on an official despatch. We are told that the 
people of Eome refused to show any pleasure, and that even 
his own soldiers had enough in them of the Eoinan spirit to 
feel resentment at his assumption of the attributes of a king. 
Cicero makes but little mention of these gala doings in his 
letters. He did not see them, but wrote back word to Atticus, 
who had described it all. " An absurd pomp," he says, 
alluding to the carriage of the image of Csesar together with 
that of the gods ; and he applauds the people who would not 
clap their hands, even in approval of the Goddess of Victory, 
because she had shown herself in such bad company. 2 There 
are, however, but three lines on the subject, showing how 

1 Suetonius, " Julius Caesar," ca. xxxvii, 2 Ad Att. xi.i. 44. 



little there is in that statement of Cornelius Nepos that he 
who had read Cicero's letters carefully wanted but little more 
to be well informed of the history of the day. 

Csesar was not a man likely to be turned away from his 
purpose of ruling well, by personal pride, less likely we 
should say than any self-made despot dealt with in history. 
He did make efforts to be as he was before. He endeavoured 
to live on terms of friendship with his old friends. But the 
spirit of pride which had taken hold of him was too much for 
him. Power had got possession of him, and he could not 
stand against it. It was sad to see the way in which it 
compelled him to make himself a prey to the conspirators, 
were it not that we learn from history how impossible it is 
that a man should raise himself above the control of his 
fellow men without suffering. 

During these days Cicero kept himself in the country, 
giving himself up to his philosophical writings, and in- 
dulging in grief for Tullia. Efforts were repeatedly made 
to bring him to Eome, and he tells Atticus in irony 
that if he is wanted there simply as an augur, the 
augurs have nothing to do with the opening of temples. 
In the same letter he speaks of an interview he has just 
had with his nephew Quintus, who had come to him in his 
disgrace. He wants to go to the Parthian war, but he 
has not money to support him. Then Cicero uses, as he 
says, the eloquence of Atticus, and holds his tongue. 1 We 
can imagine how very unpleasant the interview must have 

i Ad At. lib. xiii. 42. 


been. Cicero, however, decides that he will go up to the 

city, so that he may have Atticus with him on his birthday. 

. This letter was written towards the close of the 

B.v. 4D, 

setat. 62. vea ^ an( j Qi cero s birthday was the 3rd of January. 

He then goes to Home and undertakes to plead the cause 
of Deiotarus, the King of Galatia, before Caesar. This very old 
man had years ago become allied with Pompey, and, as far 
as we can judge, been singularly true to his idea of Eoman 
power. He had seen Pompey in all his glory when Pompey 
had come to fight Mithridates. The Tetrachs in Asia Minor, 
of whom this Deiotarus was one, had a hard part to play 
when the Komans came among them. They were forced to 
comply either with their natural tendency to resist their 
oppressors, or else were obliged to fleece their subjects in 
order to satisfy the cupidity of the invaders. We remember 
Ariobarzanes who sent his subjects in gangs to Eome to be 
sold as slaves in order to pay Pompey the interest on his 
debt. Deiotarus had similarly found his best protection in 
being loyal to Pompey, and had in return been made King 
of Armenia by a decree of the Eoman Senate. He joined 
Pompey at the Pharsalus, and when the battle was over 
returned to his own country to look for further forces where- 
with to aid the Eepublic. Unfortunately for him Csesar 
was the conqueror, and Deiotarus found himself obliged to 
assist the conqueror with his troops. Caesar seems never to 
have forgiven him his friendship for Pompey. He was not a 
Eoman and was unworthy of forgiveness. Caesar took away 
from him the kingdom of Armenia, but left him still titular 
King of Galatia. But this enmity was known in the king's 

o 2 


own court, and among his own family. His own daughter's 
son, one Castor, became desirous of ruining his grandfather, 
and brought a charge against the king. Csesar had been the 
king's compelled guest in his journey in quest of Pharnaces, 
and had passed quickly on. Now when the war was over and 
Caesar had returned from his five conquered nations, Castor 
came forward with his accusation. Deiotarus, according to 
his grandson, had endeavoured to murder Caesar while Caesar 
was staying with him. At this distance of time and place we 
cannot presume to know accurately what the circumstances 
were ; but it appears to have been below the dignity of Caesar 
to listen to such a charge. He did do so, however, and heard 
more than one speech on the subject delivered in favour of 
the accused. Brutus spoke on behalf of the aged king and 
spoke in vain. Cicero did not speak in vain, for Caesar de- 
cided that he would pronounce no verdict till he had himself 
been again in the East and had there made further inquiries. 
He never returned to the East. But the old king lived 
to fight once more, and again on the losing side. He was 
true to the party he had taken, and ranged himself with 
Brutus and Cassius at the field of Philippi. 

The case was tried, if tried it can be called, in Caesar's 
private house, in which the audience cannot have been 
numerous. Caesar seems to have admitted Cicero to say 
what could be said for his friend, rather than as an advocate 
to plead for his client, so that no one should accuse him, 
Caesar, of cruelty in condemning the criminal. The speech 
must have occupied twenty minutes in the delivery, and we are 
again at a loss to conceive how Caesar should have found the 


time to listen to it. Cicero declares that lie feels the difficulty 
of pleading in so unusual a place within the domestic 
walls of a man's private house and without any of those 
accustomed supports to oratory which are to be found in 
a crowded law court. " But," he says, " I rest in peace when 
I look into your eyes and behold your countenance." The 
speech is full of flattery, but it is turned so adroitly that we 
almost forgive it. 1 

There is a passage in which Cicero compliments the victor 
on his well known mercy in his victories, from which we 
may see how much Csesar thought of the character he had 
achieved for himself in this particular. " Of you alone, 
Csesar, is it boasted that no one has fallen under your hands 
but they who have died with arms in their hands." 2 All who 
had been taken had been pardoned. No man had been put 
to death when the absolute fighting was brought to an end. 
Csesar had given quarter to all. It is the modern, generous way 
of fighting. When our country is invaded and we drive back 
the invaders, we do not, if victorious, slaughter their chief men. 
Much less when we invade a country do we kill or mutilate 
all those who have endeavoured to protect their own homes. 
Csesar has evidently much to boast, and among the Italians he 
has caused it to be believed. Jt suited Cicero to assert it in 
Csesar's ears. Csesar wished to be told of his own clemency, 
among the men of his own country. But because Caesar 
boasted and Cicero was complaisant posterity is not to run 

1 "Pro Eege Deiotaro," ii. 

2 "Pro Rege Deiotaro," ca. xii. "Solus, inquam, es, C. Csesar, cujus in 

victoria ceciderit nemo nisi armatus.' 


away with the boast, and call it true. For all that is great in 
Caesar's character I am willing to give him credit ; but not 
for mercy ; not for any of those divine gifts the loveliness of 
which was only beginning to be perceived in those days by 
some few who were in advance of their time. It was still 
the maxim of Rome that a " Supplicatio " should be granted 
only when 2,000 of the enemy should have been left on the 
field. We have something still left of the Pagan cruelty 
about us when we send triumphant words of the numbers 
slain on the field of battle. We cannot but remember that 
Caesar had killed the whole Senate of the Veneti, a nation 
dwelling on the coast of Brittany, and had sold all the people 
as slaves, because they had detained the messengers he had 
sent to them during his wars in Gaul. " Gravius vindi- 
candum statuit." 1 " He had thought it necessary to punish 
them somewhat severely." Therefore he had killed the entire 
Senate, and enslaved the entire people. This is only one of 
the instances of wholesale horrible cruelty which he com- 
mitted throughout his war in Gaul, of cruelty so frightful 
that we shudder as we think of the sufferings of past ages. 
The ages have gone their way, and the sufferings are lessened 
by increased humanity. But we cannot allow Cicero's com- 
pliment to pass idly by. The " nemo nisi armatus " referred 
to Italians, and to Italians, we may take it, of the upper rank, 
among whom for the sake of dramatic effect Deiotarus was 
placed for the occasion. 

1 Caesar, " De. Bello Gallico," lib. iii. 16. " Itaque, onini Senatu necato, 
reliquos sub coronu vendidit," lie says, and passes ou in his serene 
majestic manner. 


This was the last of Cicero's casual speeches. It was now- 
near the end of the year and on the Ides of March following 
it was fated that Csesar should die. After which there was a 
lull in the storm for a while, and then Cicero broke out into 
that which I have called his final scream of liberty. There 
came the Philippics, and then the end. This speech of 
which I have given record as spoken " Pro Eege Deiotaro " 
was the last delivered by him for a private purpose. Forty- 
two he has spoken hitherto, of which something of the story 
has been told. The Philippics of which I have got to speak 
are fourteen in number, making the total number of speeches 
which we possess to be fifty-six. But of those spoken by him 
we have not a half, and of those which we possess some have 
been declared by the great critics to be absolutely spurious. 
The great critics have perhaps been too hard upon them. 
They have all been polished. Cicero himself was so anxious 
for his future fame that he led the way in preparing them for 
the press. Quintilian tells us that Tiro adapted them. 1 
Others again have come after him and have retouched them, 
sometimes no doubt making them smoother, and striking out 
morsels which would naturally become unintelligible to later 
readers. We know what he himself did to the Milo. Others 
subsequently may have received rougher usage, but still from 
loving hands. Bits have been lost and other bits interpolated, 
and in this way have come to us the speeches which we possess. 
But we know enough of the history of the times, and are 
sufficient judges of the language to accept them as upon the 

1 Quint, lib. x. vii. "Nam Cicerouis ad prsesens modo tempus aptatos 
libertus Tiro contraxit." 


whole authentic. The great critic when he comes upon a 
passage against which his very soul recoils, on the score of its 
halting Latinity, rises up in his wrath and tears the oration to 
tatters, till he will have none of it. One set of objectionable 
words he encounters after another till the whole seems to him 
to be damnable, and the oration is condemned. It has been 
well to allude to this because in dealing with these orations 
it is necessary to point out that every word cannot be ac- 
cepted as having been spoken as we find it printed. Taken 
collectively we may accept them as a stupendous monument 
of human eloquence and human perseverance. 

Late in the year, on the 12th before the calends of January, 
. or the 21st of December. there took place a little 

13. t>. 40> 

setat. 62. p ar ^y a t Puteoli, the account of which interests us. 
Cicero entertained Csesar to supper. Though the date is 
given as above, and though December had originally been 
intended to signify, as it does with us, a winter month, the 
year, from want of proper knowledge, had run itself out of 
order, and the period was now that of October. The amend- 
ment of the Calendar, which was made under Caesar's 
auspices, had not as yet been brought into use, and we 
must understand that October, the most delightful month 
of the year, was the period in question. Cicero was staying 
at his Puteolan villa, not far from Baise, close upon the sea- 
shore, the corner of the world most loved by all the great 
Eomans of the day for their retreat in autumn. 1 Puteoli 
we may imagine, was as pleasant as Baia3, but less fashion- 

1 Horace, Epis. lib. i. 1. "Nullus in orbe sinus Baiis prselucet amsenis." 


able, and, if all that we hear be true, less immoral. Here 
Cicero had one of his villas, and here, a few months before 
his death, Caesar came to visit him. He gives, in a very- 
few lines to Atticus, a graphic account of the entertainment. 
Caesar had sent on word to say that he was coming, so that 
Cicero was prepared for him. But the lord of all the world 
had already made himself so evidently the lord that Cicero 
could not entertain him without certain of those inner 
quakings of the heart which are common to us now when 
some great magnate may come across our path and demand 
hospitality for a moment. Cicero jokes at his own solicitude, 
but nevertheless we know that he has felt it when on the 
next morning he sent Atticus an account of it. His guest 
has been a burden to him indeed, but still he does not regret 
it ; for the guest behaved himself so pleasantly ! We must 
remark that Cicero did not ostensibly shake in his shoes 
before him. Cicero had been Consul, and has had to lead 
the Senate when Caesar was probably anxious to escape him- 
self as an undetected conspirator. Csesar has grown since, 
but only by degrees. He has not become, as Augustus 
did, " facile princeps." He is aware of his own power, but 
aware also that it becomes him to ignore his own knowledge. 
And Cicero is also aware of it, but conscious at the same 
time of a nominal equality. Csesar is now Dictator, has 
been Consul four times, and will be Consul again when the 
new year comes on. But other Eomans have been Dictator 
and Consul. All of which Caesar feels on the occasion, 
and shows that he feels it. Cicero feels it also, and endeavours 
not quite successfully to hide it. 


Caesar has come accompanied by troops. Cicero names 
2,000 men, probably at random. When Cicero hears that 
they have come into the neighbourhood he is terribly put 
about, till one Barba Cassius, a lieutenant in Caesar's employ- 
ment, comes and reassures him. A camp is made for the 
men outside in the fields, and a guard is put on to protect 
the villa. On the following day, about one o'clock, Caesar 
comes. He is shut up at the house of one Philippus, and 
will admit no one. He is supposed to be transacting accounts 
with Balbus. "We can imagine how Cicero's cooks were boil- 
ing and stewing at the time. Then the great man walked 
down upon the sea-shore. Eome was the only recognised 
nation in the world. The others were Provinces of Eome, 
and the rest were outlying barbaric people hardly as yet 
fit to be Eoman Provinces. And he was now lord of Eome. 
Did he think of this as he walked on the shore of Puteoli, 
or of the ceremony he was about to encounter before he ate 
his dinner ? He did not walk long, for at two o'clock he 
bathed, and heard " that story about Mamurra," without 
moving a muscle. Turn to your Catullus, the 57th Epigram, 
and read what Caesar had read to him on this occasion, with- 
out showing by his face the slightest feeling. It is short 
enough, but I cannot quote it even in a note, even in Latin. 
Who told Caesar of the foul words and why were they read 
to him on this occasion ? He thought but little about them, 
for he forgave the author and asked him afterwards to 
supper. This was at the bath we may suppose. He then 
tool: his siesta, and after that " epeTiKrjv agebat." How 
the Eomans went through the daily process and lived is to 


us a marvel. I think we may say that Cicero did not 
practise it. Csesar, on this occasion, ate and drank plenteously 
and with pleasure. It was all well arranged, and the con- 
versation was good of its kind, witty and pleasant. Caesar's 
couch seems to have been in the midst, and around him lay 
supping, at other tables, his freedmen, and the rest of his 
suite. It was all very well ; but still, says Cicero, he was 
not such a guest as you would welcome back ; not one to 
whom you would say, " Come again, I beg, when you return 
this way." Once is enough. There were no politics talked, 
nothing of serious matters. Caesar had begun to find now 
that no use could be made of Cicero for politics. He had 
tried that and had given it up. Philology was the subject ; 
the science of literature and languages. Caesar could talk 
literature as well as Cicero, and turned the conversation in 
that direction. Cicero was apt and took the desired part, 
and so the afternoon passed pleasantly ; but still with a 
little feeling that he was glad when his guest was gone. 1 

Caesar declared as he went that he would spend one day 
at Puteoli and another at Baise. Dolabella had a villa down 
in those parts, and Cicero knows that Csesar, as he passed 
by Dolabella's house, rode in the midst of soldiers, in state, 
as we should say ; but that he had not done this anywhere 
else. He had already promised Dolabella the Consulship. 

Was Cicero mean in his conduct towards Csesar ? Up to 
this moment there had been nothing mean, except that Eoman 
flattery which was simply Roman good manners. He had 

1 Ad Att. lib. xiii. 52. 


opposed him at Pharsalia, or rather in Macedonia. He had 
gone across the water, not to fight, for he was no fighting 
man ; but to show on which side he had placed himself. He 
had done this, not believing in Pompey, but still convinced 
that it was his duty to let all men know that he was against 
Caesar. He had resisted every attempt which Caesar had 
made to purchase his services. Neither with Pompey nor 
with Caesar did he agree. But with the former, though he 
feared that a second Sulla would arise should he be victorious, 
there was some touch of the old Eepublic. Something might 
have been done then to carry on the government upon the 
old lines. Caesar had shown his intention to be lord of all, 
and with that Cicero could hold no sympathy. Caesar had 
seen his position and had respected it. He would have 
nothing done to drive such a man from Eome. Under 
these circumstances Cicero consented to live at Rome, or 
in the neighbourhood, and became a man of letters. It 
must be remembered that up to the Ides of March he had 
heard of no conspiracy. The two men, Caesar and Cicero, 
had agreed to differ, and had talked of philology when 
they met. There has been, I think, as yet, nothing mean 
in his conduct. 



AFTER the dinner party at Puteoli described in the last 
chapter, Cicero came up to Eome and was engaged in 
B c 44 literary pursuits. Cassar was now master and lord 
eetat. 63. O f ever ything. In January Cicero wrote to his friend 
Curio and told him with disgust of the tomfooleries 
which were being carried on at the election of Quaestors. 
An empty chair had been put down and was declared to be 
the Consul's chair. Then it was taken away, and another 
chair was placed, and another Consul was declared. It wanted 
then but a few hours to the end of the Consular year, but 
not the less was Caninius, the new Consul, appointed, 
" who would not sleep during his Consulship," which lasted 
but from midday to the evening. " If you saw all this you 
would not fail to weep," says Cicero ! l After this he seems 
to have recovered from his sorrow. We have a corre- 
spondence with Foetus, which always typifies hilarity of 
spirits. There is a discussion, of which we have but the 
one side, on " double entendre " and plain speaking. Foetus 
had advocated the propriety of calling a spade a spade, and 

1 Ad Div. vii. 30. 


Cicero shows him the inexpediency. Then we come sud- 
denly upon his letter to Atticus, written on the 7th April, 
three weeks after the fall of Caesar. 

Mommsen endeavours to explain the intention of Csesar 
in the adoption of the names by which he chose to be 
called, and in his acceptance of those which without his 
choosing were imposed upon him. l He has done it perhaps 
with too great precision, but he leaves upon our minds a 
correct idea of the resolution which Csesar had made to be 
King, Emperor, Dictator, or what not, before he started 
for Macedonia, B.C. 49, 2 and the disinclination which moved 
him at once to proclaim himself a tyrant. Dictator was 
the title which he first assumed, as being temporary, Eoman, 
and in a certain degree usual. He was Dictator for an in- 
definite period, annually, for ten years, and, when he died, 
had been designated Dictator for life. He had already been, 
for the last two years, named " Imperator " for life, but that 
title, which I think to have had a military sound in men's 
ears, though it may, as Mommsen says, imply also civil rule, 
was not enough to convey to men all that it was necessary 
that they should understand. Till the moment of his 
triumph had come, and that "Veni, vidi, vici" had been 
flaunted in the eyes of Rome, till Caesar, though he had 
been ashamed to call himself a king, had consented to be 
associated with the gods, Brutus, Cassius, and those others, 
sixty in number we are told, who became the conspirators, 
had hardly realised the fact that the Republic was altogether 

1 Mommsen, Book v. xi. 

s He left Brundisium on the kst day of the year. 


at an end. A bitter time had come upon them ; but it was 
softened by the personal urbanity of the victor. But now, 
gradually the truth was declaring itself, and the conspiracy 
was formed. I am inclined to think that Shakespeare has 
been right in his conception of the plot. " I do fear the 
people Choose Csesar for their king," says Brutus. " I had 
as lief not be, as live to be In awe of such a thing as I my- 
self," says Cassius. 1 It had come home to them at length 
that Csesar was to be king, and therefore they conspired. 

It would be a difficult task in the present era to recom- 
mend to my readers the murderers of Caesar as honest, loyal 
politicians who did for their country, in its emergency, the 
best that the circumstances would allow. The feeling of 
the world in regard to murder has so changed during the 
last two thousand years, that men, hindered by their sense 
of what is at present odious, refuse to throw themselves 
back into the condition of things, a knowledge of which can 
have come to them only from books. They measure events 
individually by the present scale, and refuse to see that 
Brutus should be judged by us now in reference to the 
judgment that was formed of it then. In an age in 
which it was considered wise and fitting to destroy the 
nobles of a barbarous community which had defended itself, 
and to sell all others as slaves, so that the perpetrator simply 
recorded the act he had done as though necessary, can it 
have been a base thing to kill a tyrant ? Was it considered 
base by other Eomans of the day? Was that plea ever 

1 Shakespeare, "Julius Csesar," Act. i. sc. 2. 


made even by Caesar's friends, or was it not acknowledged 
by them all that " Brutus was an honourable man," even 
when they had collected themselves sufficiently to look 
upon him as an enemy ? It appears abundantly in Cicero's 
letters that no one dreamed of regarding them as we regard 
assassins now, or spoke of Caesar's death as we look upon 
assassination. " Shall we defend the deeds of him at whose 
death we are rejoiced?" he says. And again, he deplores 
the feeling of regret which was growing in Eome on account 
of Caesar's death, " lest it should be dangerous to those who 
have slain the tyrant for us." l We find that Quintilian 
among his stock lessons in oratory constantly refers to the 
old established rule that a man did a good deed who had 
killed a tyrant, a lesson which he had taken from the 
Greek teachers. 2 We are therefore bound to accept this 
murder as a thing praiseworthy according to the light of 
the age in which it was done, and to recognise the fact that 
it was so regarded by the men of the day. 

We are told now that Cicero " hated " Csesar. There was 
no such hatred as the word implies. And we are told of 
"assassins" with an intention to bring down on the perpe- 
trators of the deed the odium they would have deserved 
had the deed been done to-day. But the word has I think 
been misused. A king was abominable to Eoman ears, 
and was especially distasteful to men like Cicero, Brutus, 
and the other " optimates " who claimed to be peers. To be 
" primus inter pares " had been Cicero's ambition ; to be the 

1 Ad Att. lib. xiv. 9 and 15. - Quintilian, lib. vii. 4. 


leading oligarch of the day. Caesar had gradually mounted 
higher and still higher but always leaving some hope, 
infinitesimally small at last, that he might be induced to 
submit himself to the Eepublic. Sulla had submitted. 
Personally there was no hatred, but that hope had almost 
vanished and therefore, judging as a Eoman, when the deed was 
done, Cicero believed it to have been a glorious deed. There 
can be no doubt on that subject. The passages in which he 
praises it are too numerous for direct quotation, but there they 
are, interspersed through the letters and the Philippics. There 
was no doubt of his. approval. The " assassination " of Caesar, 
if that is to be the word used, was to his idea a glorious act 
done on behalf of humanity. The all-powerful tyrant who 
had usurped dominion over his country, had been made away 
with, and again they might fall back upon the law. He had 
filched the army. He had run through various provinces and 
had enriched himself with their wealth. He was above all 
law. He was worse than a Marius or a Sulla who confessed 
themselves, by their open violence, to be temporary evils. 
Csesar was creating himself king for all time. No law had 
established him. No plebiscite of the nation had endowed 
him with kingly power. With his life in his hands he had 
dared to do it, and was almost successful. It is of no purpose 
to say that he was right and Cicero was wrong in their views 
as to the Government of so mean a people as the Ptomans 
had become. Cicero's form of government, under men who 
were not Ciceros, had been wrong, and had led to a state of 
things in which a tyrant might for the time be the lesser evil. 
But not on that account was Cicero wrong to applaud the 
VOL. n. p 


deed which removed Caesar. Middleton in his life (Vol. ii., 
p. 435) gives us the opinion of Suetonius on this subject and 
tells us that the best and wisest men in Rome supposed 
Caesar to have been justly killed. Mr. Forsyth generously 
abstains from blaming the deed as to which he leaves his 
readers to form their own opinion. Abeken expresses no 
opinion concerning its morality, nor does Morabin. It is the 
critics of Cicero's works who have condemned him without 
thinking much perhaps of the judgment they have given. 

But Cicero was not in the conspiracy, nor had he even 
contemplated Caesar's death. Assertions to the contrary have 
been made both lately and in former years, but without 
foundation. I have already alluded to some of these and 
have shown that phrases in his letters have been mis- 
interpreted. A passage was quoted by M. Du Rozoir, Ad 
Att. lib. x. 8, "I don't think that he can endure longer 
than six months. He must fall, even if we do nothing." 
How often might it be said that the murder of an English 
Minister had been intended if the utterings of such words be 
taken as a testimony ! He quotes again, Ad Att. lib. xiii. 
40, " What good news could Brutus hear of Csesar, unless 
that he hung himself ! " This is to be taken as meditating 
Caesar's death, and is quoted by a French critic after 2,000 
years, in proof of Cicero's fatal ill will ! a The whole tenor 
of Cicero's letters proves that he had never entertained the 
idea of Caesar's destruction. 

How long before the time the conspiracy may have been 
in existence we have no means of knowing ; but we feel 

1 These words will be found iu M. Du Ilozoir's summary to the Philippics. 


that Cicero was not a man likely to be taken into 
the plot. He would have dissuaded Brutus and Cassius. 
Judging from what we know of his character we think that 
he would have distrusted its success. Though he rejoiced in it 
after it was done he would have been wretched while burdened 
with the secret. At any rate we have the fact that he was 
not so burdened. The sight of Caesar's slaughter, when he 
saw it, must have struck him with infinite surprise, but we 
have no knowledge of what his feelings may have been when 
the crowd had gathered round the doomed man. Cicero has 
left us no description of the moment in which Caesar is 
supposed to have gathered his toga over his face so that he 
might fall with dignity. It certainly is the case that when 
you take your facts from the chance correspondence of a man 
you lose something of the most touching episodes of the day. 
The writer passes these things by, as having been surely 
handled elsewhere. It is always so with Cicero. The trial 
of Milo, the passing of the Eubicon, the battle of the 
Pharsalus, and the .murder of Pompey, are, with the death 
of Caesar, alike unnoticed. " I have paid him a visit as to 
whom we spoke this morning. Nothing could be more 
forlorn." 1 It is thus the next letter begins, after Caesar's 
death, and the person he refers to is Matius, Caesar's friend. 
But in three weeks the world had become used to Caesar's 
death. The scene had passed away and the inhabitants of 
Eome were already becoming accustomed to his absence. 
But there can be no doubt as to Cicero's presence at Caesar's 

1 Ad Att. xiv. 1. 

p 2 


fall. He says so clearly to Atticus. 1 Morabin throws a 
doubt upon it. The story goes that Brutus, descending from 
the platform on which Csesar had been seated, and brandishing 
the bloody dagger in his hand, appealed to Cicero. Morabin 
says that there is no proof of this and alleges that Brutus 
did it for stage effect. But he cannot have seen the letter 
above quoted, or seeing it must have misunderstood it. 2 

It soon became evident to the conspirators that they had 
scotched the snake and not killed it. Cassius and others 
had desired that Antony also should be killed, and with him 
Lepidus. That Antony would be dangerous they were sure. 
But Marcus Brutus, and Decimus, overruled their counsels. 
Marcus had declared that the " blood of the tyrant was all 
that the people required." 3 The people required nothing of 
the kind. They were desirous only of ease and quiet, and 
were anxious to follow either side which might be able to lead 
them and had something to give away. But Antony had been 
spared ; and though cowed at the moment by the death of 
Caesar and by the assumption of a certain dignified forbearance 
on the part of the conspirators, was soon ready again to fight 
the battle for the Caesareans. It is singular to see how com- 
pletely he was cowed, and how quickly he recovered himself. 

Mommsen finishes his history with a loud paean in praise 
of Caesar, but does not tell us of his death. His readers, 
had they nothing else to inform them, might be led to suppose 
that he had gone direct to heaven, or at any rate had vanished 

1 A<1 Att. lib. xiv. 14. " Quam oculis cepi justo interitu tyranni." 

2 Morabin, liv. vi. chap. iii. sect. 6. 

3 Velleius Paterculus, lib. ii. ca. Iviii. 


from the world, as soon as lie had made the Empire perfect. 
He seems to have thought that had he described the work 
of the daggers in the Senate-house he would have acknow- 
ledged the mortality of his godlike hero. We have no right 
to complain of his omissions. For research, for labour, and 
for accuracy he has produced a work almost without paral- 
lel. That he should have seen how great was Caesar because 
he accomplished so much, and that he should have thought 
Cicero to be small, because, burdened with scruples of justice, 
he did so little, is in the idiosyncrasy of the man. A Caesar 
was wanted, impervious to clemency, to justice, to modera- 
tion; a man who could work with any tools. "Men had 
forgotten what honesty was. A person who refused a bribe 
was regarded, not as an upright man but as a personal foe." * 
Csesar took money, and gave bribes when he had the money 
to pay them, without a scruple. It would be absurd to talk 
about him as dishonest. He was above honesty. He was 
" supra grammaticam." It is well that some one should have 
arisen to sing the praises of such a man, some two or three 
in these latter days. To me the character of the man is un- 
pleasant to contemplate, unimpressionable, very far from 
divine. There is none of the human softness necessary for 
love ; none of the human weakness needed for sympathy. 

On the 15th of March Csesar fell. When the murder had 
been effected Brutus and the others concerned in it went out 
among the people expecting to be greeted as saviours of their 
country. Brutus did address the populace and was well 

1 Mommsen, Book v. xi. 


received ; but some bad feeling seems to have been aroused 
by hard expressions as to Caesar's memory coming from one 
of the Praetors. For the people, though they regarded Csesar 
as a tyrant, and expressed themselves as gratified when told 
that the would-be king had been slaughtered, still did not 
endure to hear ill spoken of him. He had understood that 
it behoves a tyrant to be generous and appeared among them 
always with full hands, not having been scrupulous as to his 
mode of filling them. Then the conspirators, frightened at 
menacing words from the crowd, betook themselves to the 
Capitol. Why they should have gone to the Capitol as to a 
sanctuary I do not think that we know. The Capitol is that 
hill to a portion of which access is now had by the steps of 
the church of the Ara Cceli in front, and from the Forum in 
the rear. On one side was the fall from the Tarpeian rock, 
down which malefactors were flung. On the top of it was 
the temple to Jupiter, standing on the site of the present 
church. And it was here that Brutus and Cassius and the 
other conspirators sought for safety on the evening of the 
day on which Caesar had been killed. Here they remained 
for the two following days, till on the 18th they ventured 
down into the city. On the 17th Dolabella claimed to be 
Consul, in compliance with Caesar's promise, and on the 
same day the Senate, moved by Antony, decreed a public 
funeral to Caesar. We may imagine that the decree was 
made by them with fainting hearts. There were many faint- 
ing hearts in Borne during those days, for it became very 
soon apparent that the conspirators had carried their plot no 
further than the death of Caesar. 


Brutus, as far as the public service was concerned, was 
an unpractical useless man. We know nothing of public 
work done by him to much purpose. He was filled with 
high ideas as to his own position among the oligarchs, and 
with especial notions as to what was due by Borne to men of 
his name. He had a fierce conception of his own rights, 
among which to be Prsetor, and Consul, and Governor of a 
Province were among the number. But he had taken early 
in life to literature and philosophy, and eschewed the crowd 
of " Fishponders," such as were Antony and Dolabella, men 
prone to indulge the luxury of their own senses. His idea 
of liberty seems to have been much the same as Cicero's, 
the liberty to live as one of the first men in Eome ; but it 
was not accompanied, as it was with Cicero, by an innate 
desire to do good to those around him. To maintain the 
Praetors, Consuls, and Governors, so that each man high in 
position should win his way to them as he might be able to 
obtain the voices of the people, and not to leave them to be 
bestowed at the call of one man who had thrust himself 
higher than all, that seems to have been his beau-ideal of 
Eoman government. It was Cicero's also, with the addi- 
tion that when he had achieved his high place he should 
serve the people honestly. Brutus had killed Cassar, 
but had spared Antony, thinking that all things would 
fall into their accustomed places when the tyrant should be 
no more. But he found that Csesar had been tyrant long 
enough to create a lust for tyranny ; and that though he might 
suffice to kill a king, he had no aptitude for ruling a people. 

It was now that those scenes took place which Shakespeare 


has described with such accuracy the public funeral, 
Antony's oration, and the rising of the people against the 
conspirators. Antony, when he found that no plan had 
been devised for carrying on the government, and that the 
men were struck by amazement at the deed they had them- 
selves done, collected his thoughts and did his best to put 
himself in Caesar's place. Cicero had pleaded in the Senate 
for a general amnesty, and had carried it as far as the voice 
of the Senate could do so. But the amnesty only intended 
that men should pretend to think that all should be forgotten 
and forgiven. There was no forgiving, as there could be no 
forgetting. Then Caesar's will was brought forth. They could 
not surely dispute his will or destroy it. In this way Antony 
got hold of the dead man's papers, and with the aid of the 
dead man's private secretary or amanuensis, one Fabricius, 
began a series of most unblushing forgeries. He procured, 
or said that he procured, a decree to be passed confirming 
by law all Caesar's written purposes. Such a decree he could 
use to any extent to which he could carry with him the 
sympathies of the people. He did use it to a great extent, 
and seems at this period to have contemplated the assump- 
tion of dictatorial power in his own hands. Antony was 
nearly being one of the greatest rascals the world has known. 
The desire was there, and so was the intellect, had it not 
been weighted by personal luxury and indulgence. 

Now young Octavius came upon the scene. He was the 
great nephew of Caesar, whose sister Julia had married one 
Marcus Atius. Their daughter Atia had married Caius 
Octavius, and of that marriage Augustus was the child. 


When Octavius the father died, Atia the widow, married 
Marcius Philippus who was Consul B.C. 56. Caesar, having 
no nearer heir, took charge of the boy, and had, for the last 
years of his life, treated him as his son though he had not 
adopted him. At this period the youth had been sent to 
Apollonia, on the other side of the Adriatic, in Macedonia, to 
study with Apollodorus a Greek tutor, and was there when he 
heard of Ceesar's death. He was informed that Csesar had 
made him his heir, and at once crossed over into Italy with 
his friend Agrippa. On the way up to Eome he met Cicero 
at one of his southern villas, and in the presence of the 
great orator behaved himself with becoming respect. He was 
then not twenty years old, but in the present difficulty of 
his position conducted himself with a caution most unlike 
a boy. He had only come, he said, for what his great uncle 
had left him ; and when he found that Antony had spent 
the money does not appear to have expressed himself imme- 
diately in anger. He went on to Eome where he found that 
Antony and Dolabella and Marcus Brutus and Decimus 
Brutus and Cassius were scrambling for the provinces and 
the legions. Some of the soldiers came to him, asking him 
to avenge his uncle's death ; but he was too prudent as yet 
to declare any purpose of revenge. 

Not long after Caesar's death Cicero left Eome and spent 
the ensuing month travelling about among his different 
villas. On the 14th of April he writes to Atticus, declaring 
that whatever evil might befall him he would find com- 
fort in the Ides of March. In the same letter he calls 
Brutus and the others, " our heroes," and begs his friend 


to send him news, or if not news, then a letter without news. 1 
In the next he again calls them his heroes, but adds that he 
can take no pleasure in anything but in the deed that had been 
done. Men are still praising the work of Cagsar and he laments 
that they should be so inconsistent. " Though they laud 
those who had destroyed Cassar, at the same time they praise 
his deeds." 2 In the same letter he tells Atticus that the 
people in all the villages are full of joy. " It cannot be told 
how eager they are; how they run out to meet me, and 
to hear my accounts of what was done. But the Senate 
passes no decree ! " He speaks of going into Greece to see 
his son, whom he never lived to see again, telling him of 
letters from the lad from Athens, which he thinks however 
may be hypocritical though he is comforted by finding their 
language to be clear. 3 He has recovered his good humour 
and can be jocose. One Cluvius has left him a property at 
Puteoli, and the house has tumbled down. But he has sent 
for Chrysippus an architect. But what are houses falling to 
him? He can thank Socrates and all his followers that 
they have taught him to disregard such worldly things. 
Nevertheless he has deemed it expedient to take the advice 
of a certain friend as to turning the tumble-down house into 
profitable shape. 4 A little later he expresses his great disgust 
that Csesar, in the public speeches in Eome, should be spoken 
of as that " great and most excellent man." 6 And yet he 
had said but a few months since, in his oration for King 
Deiotarus, in the presence of Cfesar " that he looked only 

1 Ad Att. lib. xiv. 4. * Ad Att. lib. xiv. 6. 3 Ad Alt. lib. xiv. 7. 
4 Ad Att. Mb. xiv. 9. 8 Ad Att. lib. xiv. 11. 


into his eyes, only into his face, that he regarded only 
him." The flattery and the indignant reprobation do in 
truth come very near upon each other, and induce us to ask 
whether the fact of having to live in the presence of royalty 
be not injurious to the moral man. Could any of us have 
refused to speak to Csesar with adulation, any of us whom 
circumstances compelled to speak to him ? Power had made 
Csesar desirous of a mode of address hardly becoming a man 
to give or a man to receive. Does not the etiquette of to-day 
require from us certain courtesies of conversation, which 
I would call abject were it not that etiquette requires them ? 
Nevertheless making the best allowance that I can for Cicero, 
the difference of his language within a month or two is very 
painful. In the letter above quoted Octavius comes to him, and 
we can see how willing was the young aspirant to flatter him. 
He sees already that, in spite of the promised amnesty, 
there must be internecine feud. " I shall have to go into the 
camp with young Sextus " Sextus Pompeius, " or perhaps 
with Brutus, a prospect at my years most odious." Then 
he quotes two lines of Homer, altering a word. " To you, 
my child, is not given the glory of war ; eloquence, charming 
eloquence, must be the weapon with which you will fight." 
We hear of his contemplated journey into Greece, under the 
protection of a free legation. He was going for the sake of 
his son ; but would not people say that he went to avoid the 
present danger ; and might it not be the case that he should 
be of service if he remained ? l We see that the old state of 

1 Ad Att. lib. xiv. 13. 


doubt is again falling upon him. At'Seo/iat T/o<wa<?. Other- 
wise he could go and make himself safe in Athens. There 
is a correspondence between him and Antony of which he 
sends copies to Atticus. Antony writes to him begging him 
to allow Sextus Clodius to return from his banishment. 
This Sextus had been condemned because of the riot on the 
death of his uncle in Milo's affair, and Antony wishes to 
have him back. Cicero replies that he will certainly accede 
to Antony's views. It had always been a law with him, he 
says, not to maintain a feeling of hatred against his humbler 
enemies. But in both these letters we see the subtilty and 
caution of the writers. Antony could have brought back 
Sextus without Cicero, and Cicero knew that he could do so. 
Cicero had no power over the law. But it suited Antony 
to write courteously a letter which might elicit an un- 
civil reply. Cicero, however, knew better and answered it 

He writes to Tiro telling him that he has not the slightest 
intention of quarrelling with his old friend Antony, and will 
write Jx> Antony ; but not till he shall have seen him, Tiro ; 
showing on what terms of friendship he stands with his former 
slave. For Tiro had by this time been manumitted. 1 He 
writes to Tiro quite as he might have written to a younger 
Atticus, and speaks to him of Atticus with all the familiarity 
of confirmed friendship. There must have been something 
very sweet in the nature of the intercourse which bound such 
a man as Cicero to such another as Tiro. 

1 Ad Div. lib. xvi. 23. 


Atticus applies to him, desiring him to use his influence 
respecting a certain question of importance as to Buthrotum. 
Buthrotum was a town in Epirus opposite to the island of 
Corcyra, in which Atticus had an important interest. The 
lands about the place were to be divided and to be distributed 
to Eoman soldiers, much, as we may suppose, to the injury 
of Atticus. He has earnestly begged the interference of 
Cicero for the protection of the Buthrotians, and Cicero tells 
him that he wishes he could have seen Antony on the 
subject ; but that Antony is too much busied, looking after 
the soldiers in the Campagna. Cicero fails to have the wishes 
of Atticus carried out, and shortly the subject becomes lost 
in the general confusion. But the discussion shows of how 
much importance at the present moment Cicero's interference 
with Antony is considered. It shows also that up to this 
period, a few months previous to the envenomed hatred of 
the second Philippic, Antony and Cicero were presumed to 
be on terms of intimate friendship. 

The worship of Csesar has been commenced in Eome, and 
an altar had been set up to him in the Forum as to a god. 
Had Csesar, when he perished, been said to have usurped the 
sovereign authority, his body would have been thrown out 
as unworthy of noble treatment. Such treatment the custom 
of the Republic required. It had been allowed to be buried, 
and had been honoured, not disgraced. Now, on the spot 
where the funeral pile had been made, the altar was erected, 
and crowds of men clamoured round it, worshipping. That 
this was the work of Antony we cannot doubt. But Dola- 
bella, Cicero's repudiated son-in-law, who in furtherance of 


a promise from Caesar had seized the Consulship, was jealous 
of Antony and caused the altar to be thrown down and the 
worshippers to be dispersed. Many were killed in the 
struggle, for, though the Republic was so jealous of the 
lives of the citizens as not to allow a criminal to be executed 
without an expression of the voice of the entire people, any 
number might fall in a street tumult and but little would be 
thought about it. Dolabella destroyed the altar, and Cicero 
was profuse in his thanks. 1 For though Tullia had been 
divorced, and had since died, there was no cause for a 
quarrel Divorces were so common that no family odium 
was necessarily created. Cicero was at this moment most 
anxious to get back from Dolabella his daughter's dowry. It 
was never repaid. Indeed, a time was quickly coming in 
which such payments were out of the question, and Dolabella 
soon took a side altogether opposed to the Republic, for 
which he cared nothing. He was bought by Antony, having 
been ready to be bought by any one. He went to Syria 
as Governor before the end of the year, and at Smyrna, 
on his road, he committed one of those acts of horror on 
Trebonius, an adverse Governor, in which the Romans of the 
day would revel when liberated from control. Cassius came 
to avenge his friend Trebonius, and Dolabella, finding himself 
worsted, destroyed himself. He had not progressed so far 
in corruption as Verres, because time had not permitted it, 
but that was the direction in which he was travelling. At 
the present moment, however, no praise was too fervid to 

1 Ad Div. ix. 11. 


be bestowed upon him by Cicero's pen. That turning of 
Csesar into a god was opposed to every feeling of his heart, 
both as to men and as to gods. 

A little further on l we find him complaining of the state 
of things very grievously. " That we should have feared this 
thing, and not have feared the other ! " meaning Caesar and 
Antony. He declares that he must often read, for his own 
consolation, his treatise on old age, then just written and 
addressed to Atticus. "Old age is making me bitter," he 
says. " I am annoyed at everything. But my life has been 
lived. Let the young look to the future." We here meet 
the name of Cserellia, in a letter to his friend. She had 
probably been sent to make up the quarrel between him 
and his young wife Publilia. Nothing came of it, and it is 
mentioned only because Cserellia's name has been joined so 
often with that of Cicero by subsequent writers. In the 
whole course of his correspondence with Atticus I do not 
remember it to occur, except in one or two letters at this 
period. I imagine that some story respecting the lady was 
handed down, and was published by Dio Cassius when the 
Greek historian found that it served his purpose to abuse 

On June 22nd he sent news to Atticus of his nephew. 
Young Quintus had written home to his father to declare his 
repentance. He had been in receipt of money from Antony, 
and had done Antony's dirty work. He had been "Antoni 
dextella," Antony's right hand, according to Cicero, and had 

1 AdAtt. xiv. 21. 


quarrelled absolutely with his father and his uncle. He now 
expresses his sorrow, and declares that he would come him- 
self at once, but that there might be danger to his father. 
And there is money to be expected if he will only wait. 
"Did you ever hear of a worse knave?" Cicero adds. 
Probably not ; but yet he was able to convince his father 
and his uncle, and some time afterwards absolutely offered 
to prosecute Antony for stealing the public money out of the 
Treasury. He thought, as did some others, that the course 
of things was going against Antony. As a consequence of 
this he was named in the proscriptions, and killed with his 
father. In the same letter Cicero consults Atticus as to the 
best mode of going to Greece. Brundisiuin is the usual way. 
but he has been told by Tiro that there are soldiers in the 
town. 1 He is now at Arpinum on his journey, and receives a 
letter from Brutus inviting him back to Eome, to see the 
games given by Brutus. He is annoyed to think that Brutus 
should expect this. " These shows are now only honourable 
to him who is bound to give them," he says. " I am not 
bound to see them, and to be present would be dishonour- 
able." 2 Then comes his parting with Atticus, showing 
a demonstrative tenderness foreign to the sternness of our 
northern nature. "That you should have wept when you 
had parted from me has grieved me greatly. Had you done 
it in my presence I should not have gone at all." 3 "Nonis 
Juliis ! " * he exclaims. The name of July had already come 
into use, the name which has been in use ever since ; the 

1 Ad Att. xv. 21. 2 Ad Att. xv. 26. 

3 Ad Att. xv. 27. 4 Ad Att. xvi. 1. 


name of the man who had now been destroyed ! The idea 
distresses him. "Shall Brutus talk of July?" It seems 
that some advertisement had been published as to his 
games in which the month was so called. 

Writing from one of his villas in the south he tells Atticus 
that his nephew has again been with him, and has repented 
him of all his sins. I think that Cicero never wrote any- 
thing vainer than this. " He has been so changed," he says, 
" by reading some of my writings which I happened to 
have by me, and by my words and precepts, that he is 
just such a citizen as I would have him." l Could it be that 
he should suppose that one whom he had a few days since 
described as the biggest knave he knew should be so changed 
by a few words, well written and well pronounced ? Young 
Quintus must in truth have been a clever knave. In the 
same letter Cicero tells us that Tiro had collected about 
seventy of his letters with a view to publication. We have 
at present over 700 written before that day. 

Just as he is starting he gives his friend a very wide 
commission. " By your love for me, do manage my matters 
for me. I have left enough to pay everything that I 
owe. But it will happen, as it often does, that they who 
owe me will not be punctual. If anything of that kind 
should happen only think of my character. Put me right 
before the world by borrowing, or even by selling, if it be 
necessary." 2 This is not the language of a man in distress, 
but of one anxious that none should lose a shilling by him. 

1 Ad Att. xvi. 5. a Ad Att. xvi. 2. 



He again thinks of starting from Brundisium, and promises 
when he has arrived there instantly to begin a new work. 
He has sent his "De Gloria" to Atticus, a treatise which 
we have lost. We should be glad to know how he treated 
this most difficult subject. We are astonished at his fecun- 
dity and readiness. He was now nearly sixty-three, and, 
as he travels about the country he takes with him all the 
adjuncts necessary for the writing of treatises such as he 
composed at this period of his life ! His " Topica," contain- 
ing Aristotelian instructions as to a lawyer's work, he put 
together on board ship immediately after this, for the 
benefit of Trebatius, to whom it had been promised ! 

July had come, and at last he resolved to sail from 
Pompeii and to coast round to Sicily. He lands for a night 
at Velia, where he finds Brutus, with whom he has an 
interview. Then he writes a letter to Trebatius, who had 
there a charming villa, bought no doubt with Gallic spoils. 
He is reminded of his promise, and going on to Rhegium 
writes his " Topica," which he sends to Trebatius from that 
place. Thence he went across to Syracuse, but was afraid 
to stay there, fearing that his motions might be watched, and 
that Antony would think that he had objects of state in his 
journey. He had already been told that some attributed his 
going to a desire to be present at the Olympian games ; but 
the first notion seems to have been that he had given the 
Republic up as lost and was seeking safety elsewhere. From 
this we are made to perceive how closely his motions were 
watched, and how much men thought of them. From Syra- 
cuse he started for Athens, which place however he was 


never doomed to see again. He was carried back to Leuco- 
petra on the continent, and though he made another effort, 
he was, he says, again brought back. There, at the villa 
of his friend Valerius, he learned tidings which induced him 
to change his purpose and hurry off to Eome. Brutus and 
Cassius had published a decree of the Senate, calling all the 
Senators and especially the Consulars to Eome. There was 
reason to suppose that Antony was willing to relax his 
pretensions. They had strenuously demanded his attendance, 
and whispers were heard that he had fled from the difficul- 
ties of the times. "When I heard this, I at once aban- 
doned my journey, with which, indeed, I had never been 
well pleased." 1 Then he enters into a long disquisition with 
Atticus as to the advice which had been given to him, both 
by Atticus and by Brutus, and he says some hard words 
to Atticus. But he leaves an impression on the reader's 
mind that Brutus had so disturbed him by what had passed 
between them at Velia that from that moment his doubts 
as to going, which had been always strong, had overmastered 
him. It was not the winds at Leucopetra that hindered his 
journey, but the taunting words which Brutus had spoken. 
It was suggested to him that he was deserting his country. 
The reproach had been felt by him to be heavy, for he had 
promised to Atticus that he would return by the first of 
January ; yet he could not but feel that there was something 
in it of truth. The very months during which he would 
be absent would be the months of danger. Indeed, looking 

1 Ad Att. xvi. 7. 

Q 2 


out upon the political horizon then, it seemed as though the 
nearest months, those they were then passing, would be the 
most dangerous. If Antony could be got rid of, be made to 
leave Italy, there might be something for an honest Senator 
to do, a man with Consular authority, a something which 
might not jeopardise his life. When men now call a politician 
of those days a coward for wishing to avoid the heat of the 
battle, they hardly think what it is for an old man to leave 
his retreat and rush into the Forum, and there encounter 
such a one as Antony and such soldiers as were his soldiers. 
Cicero, who had been brave enough in the emergencies of 
his career, and had gone about his work sometimes regardless 
of his life, no doubt thought of all this. It would be pleasant 
to him again to see his son, and to look upon the rough 
doings of Eome from amidst the safety of Athens. But when 
his countrymen told him that he had not as yet done enough, 
when Brutus, with his cold bitter words rebuked him for 
going, then his thoughts turned round on the quick pivot on 
which they were balanced, and he hurried back to the fight. 

He travelled at once up to Rome which he reached on the 
last of August, and there received a message from Antony 
demanding his presence in the Senate on the next day. He 
had been greeted on his journey once again by the enthusias- 
tic welcome of his countrymen, who looked to receive some 
especial advantage from his honesty and patriotism. Once 
again he was made proud by the clamours of a trusting 
people. But he had not come to Rome to be Antony's 
puppet. Antony had some measure to bring before the 
Senate in honour of Caesar, which it would not suit Cicero 

S DEATH. 229 

to support or to oppose. He sent to say that lie was tired 
after his journey and would not come. Upon this the critics 
deal hardly with him and call him a coward. "With an 
incredible pusillanimity," says M. Du Eozoir, " Cicero ex- 
cused himself, alleging his health and the fatigue of his 
voyage." " He pretended that he was too tired to be 
present," says Mr. Long. It appears to me that they who 
have read Cicero's works with the greatest care have become 
so enveloped by the power of his words as to expect from 
them an unnatural weight. If a politician of to-day, finding 
that it did not suit him to appear in the House of Commons 
on a certain evening, and that it would best become him to 
allow a debate to pass without his presence, were to make 
such an excuse, would he be treated after the same fashion ? 
Pusillanimity, and pretence, in regard to those Philippics in 
which he seems to have courted death by every harsh word 
that he uttered ! The reader, who has begun to think so, 
must change his mind, and be prepared, as he progresses, to 
find quite another fault with Cicero. Impetuous, self-con- 
fident, rash, throwing down the gage with internecine fury, 
striving to crush with his words the man who had the com- 
mand of the legions of Eome, sticking at nothing which 
could inflict a blow, forcing men by his descriptions to such 
contempt of Antony that they should be induced to leave 
the stronger party lest they too should incur something of 
the wrath of the orator ; that they will find to be the line 
which Cicero adopted and the demeanour he put on during 
the next twelve months ! He thundered with his Philippics 
through Eome, addressing now the Senate, and now the 


people, with a hardihood which you may condemn as being 
unbecoming one so old, who should have been taught 
equanimity by experience; but pusillanimity and pretence 
will not be the offences you will bring against him. 

Antony, not finding that Cicero had come at his call, 
declared in the Senate that he would send his workmen to 
dig him out from his house. Cicero alludes to this on the 
next day without passion. ' Antony was not present, and in 
this speech he expresses no bitterness of anger. It should 
hardly have been named one of the Philippics, which title 
might well have been commenced with the second. The 
name, it should be understood, has been adopted from a 
jocular allusion by Cicero to the Philippics of Demosthenes 
made in a letter to Brutus. We have at least the reply of 
Brutus, if indeed the letter be genuine, which is much to be 
doubted. 2 But he had no purpose of affixing his name to 
them. For many years afterwards they were called Antoni- 
anse, and the first general use of the term by which we know 
them has probably been comparatively modern. The one 
name does as well as another ; but it is odd that speeches 
from Demosthenes should have given a name to others so 
well known as these made by Cicero against Antony. 

1 Phil. i. 5. "Nimis iracunde hoc quidem, et valde intemperanter." 
" Who," he goes on to say, "has sinned so heavily against the Republic that 
here, in the Senate, they shall dare to threaten his house by sending the 
State workmen ? " 

2 Brutus Ciceroni, lib. ii. 5. "Jam concedo ut vel Philippic! vocentur, 
quod tu quadam epistola jocans scripsisti." I fear however that we must 
acknowledge that this letter cannot be taken as an authority for the early use 
of the name. 


Plutarch, however, mentions the name, saying that it had 
been given to the speeches by Cicero himself. 

In this, the first, he is ironically reticent as to Antony's 
violence and unpatriotic conduct. Antony was not present, 
and Cicero tells his hearers with a pleasant joke that to 
Antony it may be allowed to be absent on the score of ill 
health, though the indulgence had been refused to him. 
Antony is his friend, and why had Antony treated him so 
roughly ? Was it unusual for Senators to be absent ? Was 
Hannibal at the gate, or were they dealing for peace with 
Pyrrhus as was the case when they brought the old blind 
Appius down to the House ? Then he comes to the question 
of the hour, which was, nominally, the sanctioning as law 
those acts of Caesar's which he had decreed by his own will 
before his death. When a tyrant usurps power for a while 
and is then deposed no more difficult question can be de- 
bated. Is it not better to take the law as he leaves it, even 
though the law has become a law illegally, than encounter all 
the confusion of retrograde action ? Nothing could have 
been more iniquitous than some of Sulla's laws, but Cicero 
had opposed their abrogation. But here the question was 
one not of Csesar's laws, but of decrees subsequently made by 
Antony and palmed off upon the people as having been found 
among Cesar's papers. Soon after Csesaf's death a decision 
had been obtained by Antony in favour of Caesar's laws or 
acts, and hence had come these impudent forgeries under the 
guise of M 7 hich Antony could cause what writings he chose 
to be made public. " I think that Caesar's acts should be 
maintained," says Cicero, " not as being in themselves good. 


for that no one can assert. I wish that Antony were present 
here, without his usual friends," he adds, alluding to his 
armed satellites. " He would tell us after what manner he 
would maintain those acts of Caesar's. Are they to be found 
in notes and scraps and small documents brought forward by 
one witness, or not brought forward at all but only told to us ? 
And shall those which he engraved in bronze and which 
he wished to be known as the will of the people and as 
perpetual laws, shall they go for nothing V 1 Here was 
the point in dispute. The decree had been voted soon after 
Caesar's death giving the sanction of the Senate to his laws. 
For peace this had been done, as the best way out of the 
difficulty which oppressed the State. But it was intolerable 
that under this sanction Antony should have the power of 
bringing forth new edicts day after day, while the very laws 
which Caesar had passed were not maintained. " What better 
law was there, or more often demanded in the best days of 
the Republic than that law," passed by Caesar, "under 
which the provinces were to be held by the Praetors only for 
one year and by the Consuls for not more than two ? But 
this law is abolished. So it is thus that Caesar's acts are to be 
maintained ? " 2 Antony no doubt and his friends, having an 
eye to the fruition of the provinces, had found among Caesar's 
papers, or said they had found, some writing to suit their 
purpose. All things to be desired were to be found among 
Caesar's papers. " The banished are brought back from banish- 
ment, the right of citizenship is given not only to individuals 

i Phil. i. ca. vii. 3 Ca. viii. 


but to whole nations and provinces, exceptions from taxations 
are granted, by the dead man's voice." * Antony had begun 
probably with some one or two more modest forgeries and had 
gone on, strengthened in impudence by his own success, till 
Caesar dead was like to be worse to them than Caesar living. 
The whole speech is dignified, patriotic and bold, asserting 
with truth that which he believed to be right, but never 
carried into invective or dealing with expressions of anger. 
It is very short, but I know no speech of his more closely to 
its purpose. I can see him now, with his toga round him, as 
lie utters the final words. " I have lived perhaps long 
enough, both as to length of years and the glory I have 
won. What little may be added, shall be, not for myself, 
but for you and for the Republic." The words thus spoken 
became absolutely true. 

1 Phil. i. ca. x. 



CICEKO was soon driven by the violence of Antony's con- 
duct to relinquish the idea of moderate language and was 
B c 44 ready enough to pick up the gauntlet thrown down 
setat. 63. for n ' m> p rom this moment to the last scene of 

his life it was all the fury of battle and the shout of victory, 
and then the scream of despair. Antony when he read 
Cicero's speech, the first Philippic, the language of which was 
no doubt instantly sent to him, seems to have understood at 
once that he must either vanquish Cicero or be vanquished 
by him. He appreciated to the letter the ironically cautious 
language in which his conduct was exposed. He had not 
chosen to listen to Cicero, but was .most anxious to get 
Cicero to listen to him. Those " advocates " of whom Cicero 
had spoken would be around him, and at a nod, or perhaps 
without a nod, would do to Cicero as Brutus and Cassius had 
done to Caesar. The last meeting of the Senate had been on 
the 2nd of September. When it was over, Antony we are 
told went down to his villa at Tivoli and there devoted 
himself for above a fortnight to the getting up of a speech by 
which he might silence, or at any rate answer Cicero. Nor 
did he leave himself to his own devices, but took to himself 
a master of eloquence who might teach him when to make 


use of his arms, where to stamp his feet, and in what way to 
throw his toga about with a graceful passion. He was 
about forty at this time, 1 and in the full flower of his man- 
hood, yet, for such a purpose, he did not suppose himself to 
know all that lessons would teach him in the art of invective. 
There he remained, mouthing out his phrases in the presence 
of his preceptor, till he had learnt by heart all that the 
preceptor knew. Then he summoned Cicero to meet him 
in the Senate on the 19th. This Cicero was desirous of 
doing, but was prevented by his friends who were afraid 
of the " advocates." There is extant a letter from Cicero to 
Cassius in which he states it to be well known in Borne that 
Antony had declared that he, Cicero, had been the author of 
Caesar's death, in order that Csesar's old soldiers might slay 
him. 2 There were other Senators, he says, who did not dare 
to show themselves in the Senate-house, Piso, and Servilius, 
and Cotta. Antony came down and made his practised 
oration against Cicero. The words of his speech have not 
been preserved, but Cicero has told us the manner of it and 
some of the phrases which he used. The authority is not 
very good, but we may imagine from the results that his 
story is not far from the truth. From first to last it was one 
violent tirade of abuse which he seemed to vomit forth from 
his jaws rather than to "speak after the manner of a Eoman 
Consular." Such is Cicero's description. 

It has been said of Antony that we hear of him only from 

1 The year of his birth is uncertain. He had been Consul three years back, 
and must have spoken often. 

2 Ad Div. lib. xii. 2. 


his enemies. He left behind him no friend to speak for him, 
and we have heard of him certainly from one enemy. But 
the tidings are of a nature to force upon us belief in the evil 
which Cicero spoke of him. Had he been a man of decent 
habits of life and of an honest purpose, would Cicero have 
dared to say to the Eomans respecting him the words which 
he produced, not only in the second Philippic which was 
unspoken, but also in the twelve which followed ? The 
record of him as far as it goes is altogether bad. Plutarch 
tells us that he was handsome and a good soldier, but 
altogether vicious. Plutarch is not a biographer whose word 
is to be taken as to details, but he is generally correct in his 
estimate of character. Tacitus tells us but little about him 
as direct history, but mentions him ever in the same tone. 
Tacitus knew the feeling of Rome regarding him. Paterculus 
speaks specially of his fraud, and breaks out into strong repu- 
diation of the murder of Cicero. 1 Valerius Maximus in his 

1 It may here be worth our while to quote the impassioned language 
which Velleius Paterculus uses when he chronicles the death of Cicero, lib. ii. 
66. " Nihil tamen egisti, M. Antoni (cogit enim excedere propositi formam 
operis, erumpens animo ac pectoreindignatio), nihil, inquam, egisti, mercedem 
caelestissimi oris et clarissimi capitis abscissi numerando, auctoramentoque 
funebri ad conservatoris quondam reipublicae tantique consulis irritando necem. 
Eapuisti tu M. Ciceroni lucem solicitam, et setatem senilem, et vitam miseri- 
orem, te principe, quam sub te triumviro mortem. Famam vero gloriamque 
factorum atque dictorum adeo non abstulisti, ut auxeris. Vivit, vivetque per 
omnium saeculoram memoriam ; dumque hoc vel forte, vel providentia, vel 
utcumque constitutum, rerum naturae corpus, quod ille psene solus Romanorum 
animo vidit, ingenio complexus-est, eloquentia illuminavit, manebit incolume, 
comitem sevi sui laudem Ciceronis trahet, omnisque posteritas illius in te scripta 
mirabitur, tuum in eura factum execrabitur ; citiusque in mundo genus 
hominum, quam ea, cadet." This was the popular idea of Cicero in the time 
of Tiberius. 


anecdotes mentions him slightingly as an evil man is spoken 
of, who has forced himself into notice. Virgil has stamped his 
name with everlasting ignominy. " Sequiturque nefas Egyptia 
conjux." I can think of no Eoman writer who has named 
him with honour. He was a Eoman of the day, what 
Eome had made him, brave, greedy, treacherous, and 

Cicero again was absent from the Senate, but was in Eome 

when Antony attacked him. We learn from a letter to 

Cornificius that Antony left the city shortly afterwards and 

went down to Brundisium to look after the legions which 

had come across from Macedonia, with which Cicero asserts 

that he intends to tyrannise over them all in Eome. 1 He 

then tells his correspondent that young Octavius has just 

been discovered in an attempt to have Antony murdered, 

but that Antony having found the murderer in his house 

had not dared to complain. He seems to think that 

Octavius had been right ! The state of things was such 

that men were used to murder. But this story was probably 

not true. He passes on to declare in the next sentence that 

he receives such consolation from philosophy as to be able 

to bear all the ills of fortune. He himself goes to Puteoli 

and there he writes the second Philippic. It is supposed 

to be the most violent piece of invective ever produced by 

human ingenuity and human anger. The readers of it must, 

however, remember that it was not made to be spoken, was 

not even written as far as we are aware, to be shown to Antony 

1 Ad Div. lib. xii. 23. 


or to be published to the world. We do not even know 
that Antony ever saw it. There has been an idea prevalent 
that Antony's anger was caused by it, and that Cicero owed 
to it his death. But the surmise is based on probability, 
not at all on evidence. Cicero when he heard what Antony 
had said of him appears to have written all the evil he 
could say of his enemy, in order that he might send it to 
Atticus. It contained rather what he could have published, 
than what he did intend to publish. He does indeed suggest, 
in the letter which accompanied the treatise when sent to 
Atticus, in some only half intelligible words, that he hopes 
the time may come when the speech "shall find its way 
freely even into Sica's house ; " * but we gather even from 
that his intention that it should have no absolutely public 
circulation. He had struggled to be as severe as he knew 
how, but had done it as it were with a halter round his neck. 
And for Antony's anger, the anger which afterwards pro- 
duced the proscription, there came to be cause enough be- 
yond this. Before that day he had endeavoured to stir up the 
whole Empire against Antony, and had all but succeeded. 

It has been alleged that Cicero again shows his cowardice 
by writing and not speaking his oration, and also by writing 
it only for private distribution. If he were a coward why 
did he write it at all ? If he were a coward why did he 
hurry into this contest with Antony ? If he be blamed be- 
cause his Philippic was anonymous, how do the anonymous 
writers of to-day escape ? If because he wrote it, and did 

1 Ad Att. lib. xvi. 11. 


not speak it, what shall be said of the party writers of to- 
day ? He was a coward, say his accusers, because he avoided 
a danger. Have they thought of the danger which he did 
run when they bring those charges against him ; of what 
was the nature of the fight ? Do they remember how many 
Romans in public life had been murdered during the last 
dozen years ? We are well aware how far custom goes, and 
that men became used to the fear of violent death. Cicero 
was now habituated to that fear, and was willing to face 
it. But not on that account are we to imagine that, with 
his eyes open, he was to be supposed always ready to rush 
into immediate destruction. To write a scurrilous attack 
such as the second Philippic is a bad exercise for the 
ingenuity of a great man ; but so is any anonymous satire. 
It is so in regard to our own times, which have received the 
benefit of all antecedent civilisation. Cicero being in the 
midst of those heartless Eomans is expected to have the 
polished manners and high feelings of a modern politician ! 
I have hardly a right to be angry with his critics because 
by his life he went so near to justify the expectation. 

He begins by asking his supposed hearers how it has 
come to pass that during the last twenty years the Republic 
had had no enemy who was not also his enemy. " And you, 
Antony, whom I have never injured by a word, why is it 
that, more brazen-faced than Catiline, more fierce than Clodius, 
you should attack me with your maledictions ? Will your 
enmity against me be a recommendation for you to every 
evil citizen in Rome ? " " Why does not Antony come down 
among us to-day ? " he says, as though lie were in the 


Senate and Antony were away. "He gives a birthday 
fete in his garden. To whom I wonder ? I will name no 
one. To Phormio, perhaps, or Gnatho, or Ballion! 
incredible baseness ; lust and impudence not to be borne ! " 
These were the vile knaves of the Eoman comedy, the Nyms, 
Pistols, and Bobadils. " Your Consulship no doubt will be 
salutary ; but mine did only evil ! You talk of my 
verses," he says, Antony having twitted him with the 
" cedant arma togse." " I will only say that you do not 
understand them or any other. Clodius was killed by my 
counsels ; was he ? What would men have said had they 
seen him running from you through the Forum, you with 
your drawn sword, and him escaping up the stairs of the book- 
seller's shop V 1 " It was by my advice that Caesar was killed ! 
I fear, O conscript fathers, lest I should seem to have employed 
some false witness to flatter me with praises which do not 
belong to me. Who has ever heard me mentioned as having 
been conversant with that glorious affair ? Among those 
who did do the deed whose name has been hidden, or 
indeed is not most widely known ? Some have been inclined 
to boast that they were there, though they were absent; 
but not one who was present has ever endeavoured to 
conceal his name." 

" You deny that I have had legacies ? I wish it were true, 
for then my friends might still be living. But where have 
you learned that, seeing that I have inherited 20,000,000 

1 On referring to the Milo, ca. xv. the reader will see the very 
different tone in which Cicero spoke of this incident when Antony was in 
favour with him. 


sesterces. 1 I am happier in this than you. No one but a 
friend has made me his heir. Lucius Kubrius Cassinas, 
whom you never even saw, has named you." He here refers 
to a man over whose property Antony was supposed to have 
obtained control fraudulently. " Did he know of you whether 
you were a white man or a negro ? " " Would you mind 
telling me what height Turselius stood ? " Here he names 
another of whose property Antony is supposed to have 
obtained possession illegally. " I believe all you know of 
him is what farms he had." "Do you bear in mind," he 
says, " that you were a bankrupt as soon as you had become a 
man ? " " Do you remember your early friendship with Curio, 
and the injuries you did his father ? " Here it is impos- 
sible to translate literally, but, after speaking as he had done 
very openly, he goes on. " But I must omit the iniquities 
of your private life. There are things I cannot repeat here. 
You are safe, because the deeds you have done are too bad 
to be mentioned. But let us look at the affairs of your 
public life. I will just go through them ; " which he 
does, laying bare as he well knew how to do, every past act 
" When you had been made Quaestor you flew at once to 
Ceesar. You knew that he was the only refuge for poverty, 
debt, wickedness, and vice. Then, when you had gorged 
upon his generosity and your own plunderings, which indeed 
you spent faster than you got it, you betook yourself instantly 
to the Tribunate." "It is you, Antony, you who supplied 
Caesar with an excuse for invading his country." Csesar 

1 It was a sign of an excellent character in Rome to have been chosen often 
as heir in part to a man's property. 



had declared at the Eubicon that the Tribunate had been 
violated in the person of Antony. " I will say nothing here 
against Caesar though nothing can excuse a man for taking up 
arms against his country. But of you it has to be confessed 
that you were the cause." " He has been a very Helen to us 
Trojans." "He has brought back many a wretched exile, but 
has forgotten altogether his own uncle ; " Cicero's colleague 
in the Consulship who had been banished for plundering his 
province. " We have seen this Tribune of the people carried 
through the town on a British war-chariot. His lictors with 
their laurels went before him. In the midst on an open litter, 
was carried an actress." " When you came back from Thessaly 
with your legions to Brundisium you did not kill me ! 0, 
what a kindness." " You with those jaws of yours, with that 
huge chest, with that body like a gladiator, drank so much 
wine at Hippea's marriage that in the sight of all Rome you 
were forced to vomit." "When he had seized Pompey's 
property he rejoiced like some stage-actor who in a play is as 
poor as Poverty, and then suddenly becomes rich. All his 
wine, the great weight of silver, the costly furniture and rich 
dresses, in a few days where were they all ? A Charybdis 
do I call him ? He swallowed them all like an entire ocean." 
Then he accuses him of cowardice and cruelty in the 
Pharsalian wars, and compares him most injuriously with 
Dolabella. "Do you remember how Dolabella fought for 
you in Spain, when you were getting drunk at Narbo ? And 
how did you get back from Narbo ? He has asked as to my 
return to the city. I have explained to you, conscript 
fathers, how I had intended to be here in January, so as to be 


of some service to the Eepublic. You inquire how I got 
back. In daylight; not in the dark, as you did; with 
Roman shoes on and a Roman toga ; not in barbaric boots and 
an old cloak." " When Caesar returned from Spain you again 
pushed yourself into his intimacy, not a brave man we 
should say, but still strong enough for his purposes. Caesar 
did always this, that if there were a man ruined, steeped 
in debt, up to his ears in poverty, a base, needy, bold man, 
that was the man whom he could receive into his friendship." 
This as to Caesar was undoubtedly true. " Recommended in 
this way you were told to declare yourself Consul." Then he 
describes the way in which he endeavoured to prevent the 
nomination of Dolabella to the same office. Cassar had said 
that Dolabella should be Consul, but when Caesar was dead 
this did not suit Antony. When the tribes had been called in 
their centuries to vote, Antony, not understanding what form 
of words he ought to have used as augur to stop the ceremony, 
had blundered. " Would you not call him a very Lselius ? " 
says Cicero. Lselius had made for himself a name among 
augurs for excellence. 

"Miserable that you are, you throw yourself at Caesar's feet 
asking only permission to be his slave. You sought for your- 
self that state of slavery which it has ever been easy for you 
to endure. Had you any command from the Roman people 
to ask the same for them ? Oh, that eloquence of yours, when 
naked you stood up to harangue the people ! Who ever saw 
a fouler deed than that, or one more worthy scourges!" 
" Has Tarquin suffered for this ; have Spurius Cassius, Melius, 
and Marcus Marlius suffered, that after many ages a king 

n 2 


should be set up in Rome by Marc Antony ? " "With abuse 
of a similar kind he goes on to the end of his declamation, 
when he again professes himself ready to die at his post 
in defence of the Republic. That he now made up his mind 
so to die should it become necessary we may take for granted, 
but we cannot bring ourselves to approve of the storm of 
abuse under which he attempted to drown the memory and 
name of his antagonist. So virulent a torrent of words, all 
seeming, as we read them, to have been poured out in 
rapid utterances by the keen energy of the moment, astonish 
us, when we reflect that it was the work of his quiet moments. 
That he should have prepared such a task in the seclusion of 
his closet is marvellous. It has about it the very ring of 
sudden passion. Bat it must be acknowledged that it is not 
palatable. It is more Eoman and less English than anything 
we have from Cicero, except his abuse of Piso, with whom 
he was again now half reconciled. 

But it was solely on behalf of his country that he did it. 
He had grieved when Caesar had usurped the functions of the 
government ; but in his grief he had respected Caesar and had 
felt that he might best carry on the contest by submission. 
But, when Caesar was dead and Antony was playing tyrant 
his very soul rebelled. Then he sat down to prepare his first 
instalment of keen personal abuse, adding word to word and 
phrase to phrase, till he had built up this unsavoury monument 
of vituperation. It is by this that Antony is now known to 
the world. Plutarch makes no special mention of the second 
Philippic. In his life of Antony he does not allude to these 
orations at all, but in that of Cicero he tells us how Antony 


had ordered that right hand to be brought to him with which 
" Cicero had written his Philippics." 

The " young Octavius " of Shakespeare had now taken the 
name of Octavianus, Caius Julius Csesar Octavianus, and 
had quarrelled to the knife with Antony. He had assumed 
that he had been adopted by Caesar and now demanded all the 
treasures his uncle had collected as his own. Antony, who 
had already stolen them, declared that they belonged to the 
State. At any rate there was cause enough for quarrelling 
among them, and they were enemies. Each seems to have 
brought charges of murder against the other, and each was 
anxious to obtain possession of the soldiery. Seen as we 
see now the period in Rome of which we are writing, every 
safeguard of the Republic gone, all law trampled under foot, 
Consuls, Praetors, and Tribunes not elected but forced upon 
the State, all things in disorder, the provinces becoming the 
open prey of the greediest plunderer, it is apparent enough 
that there could be no longer any hope for a Cicero. The 
marvel is that the every-day affairs of life should have been 
carried on with any reference to the law. When we are told 
that Antony stole Caesar's treasures and paid his debts with 
them, we are inclined to ask why he had paid his debts at all. 
But Cicero did hope. In his whole life there is nothing more 
remarkable than the final vitality with which he endeavoured 
to withstand the coming deluge of military despotism. Nor 
in all history is there anything more wonderful than the 
capacity of power to re-establish itself, as is shown by the 
orderly Empire of Augustus growing out of the disorder 
left by Caesar. One is reminded by it of the impotency 
of a reckless heir to bring to absolute ruin the princely 


property of a great nobleman brought together by the 
skill of many careful progenitors. A thing will grow to be so 
big as to be all but indestructible. It is like that tower of 
Caecilia Metella against which the storms of twenty centuries 
have beaten in vain. Looking at the state of the Eoman 
Empire when Cicero died who would not declare its doom ? 
But it did "retrick its beams," not so much by the hand 
of one man, Augustus, as by the force of the concrete power 
collected within it, " Quod non imber edax non aquilo 
impotens Possit diruere." 1 Cicero with patriotic gallantry 
thought that even yet there might be a chance for the old 
Eepublic ; thought that by his eloquence, by his vehemence of 
words he could turn men from fraud to truth and from the lust 
of plundering a province to a desire to preserve their country. 
Of Antony now he despaired, but he still hoped that his words 
might act upon this young Caesar's heart. The youth was as 
callous as though he had already ruled a province for three 
years. No Roman was ever more cautious, more wise, more 
heartless, more able to pick his way through blood to a 
throne, than the young Augustus. Cicero fears Octavian, 
as we must now call him, and knows that he can only 
be restrained by the keeping of power out of his hands. 
Writing to Atticus from Arpinum he says " I agree alto- 
gether with you. If Octavian get power into his hands he will 
insist upon the tyrant's decrees, much more thoroughly than 
he did when the Senate sat in the temple of Tellus. Every- 
thing then will be done in opposition to Brutus. But if he 
be conquered, then see how intolerable would be the 

1 Horace, Odes, lib. iii. 30. 


dominion of Antony." l In the same letter he speaks of 
the " De Officiis," which he has just written. In his next 
and last epistle to his old friend, he congratulates himself 
on having been able at last to quarrel with Dolabella. 
Dolabella had turned upon him in the end, bought by 
Antony's money. He then returns to the subject of Octavian, 
and his doubts as to his loyalty. He has been asked to 
pledge himself to Octavian, but has declined till he shall 
see how the young man will behave when Casea becomes 
candidate for the Tribunate. If he show himself to be 
Casea's enemy, Casea having been one of the conspirators, 
Cicero will know that he is not to be trusted. Then he falls 
into a despairing mood and declares that there is no hope. 
" Even Hippocrates was unwilling to bestow medicine on 
those to whom it could avail nothing." But he will go to 
Eome, into the very jaws of the danger. " It is less base for 
such as I am to fall publicly than privately." With these 
words, almost the last written by him to Atticus, this cor- 
respondence is brought to an end, the most affectionate, the 
most trusting, and the most open ever published to the world 
as having come from one man to another. No letters more 
useful to the elucidation of character were ever written; 
but when read for that purpose they should be read with care, 
and should hardly be quoted till they have been understood. 
The struggles for the provinces were open and acknowledged. 
Under Caesar, Decimus Brutus had been nominated for Cis- 
alpine Gaul, Marcus Brutus for Macedonia, and Cassius for 

1 Ad Att. lib. xvi. 14. 


Syria. It will be observed that these three men were the 
most prominent among the conspirators. Since that time 
Antony and Dolabella had obtained votes of the people to 
alter the arrangement. Antony was to go to Macedonia, and 
Dolabella to Syria. This was again changed when Antony 
found that Decimus had left Eome to take up his command. 
He sent his brother Caius to Macedonia, and himself claimed 
to be Governor of Cisalpine Gaul. Hence there were two 
Kornan Governors fbr each province ; and in each case each 
B c 44 Governor was determined to fight for the possession, 
setat. 63. Antony hurried out of Eome before the end of the 
year with the purpose of hindering Decimus from the 
occupation of the north of Italy, and Cicero went up to 
Eome determined to take a part in the struggle which was 
imminent. The Senate had been summoned for the 19th 
December, and attended in great numbers. Then it was that 
he spoke tjie third Philippic, and in the evening of the same 
day he spoke the fourth to the people. It should be under- 
stood that none of these speeches were heard by Antony. 
Cicero had at this time become the acknowledged chief of 
the Eepublican party, having drifted into the position which 
Pompey had so long filled. Many of Caesar's friends, 
frightened by his death, or rather cowed by the absence of 
his genius, had found it safer to retreat from the Csesareau 
party, of which the Antonys, with Dolabella, the cutthroats 
and gladiators of the empire, had the command. Hirtius 
and Pansa with Balbus and Oppius were among them. 
They, at this moment, were powerful in Eome. The legions 
were divided, some with Antony, some with Octavian, and 


some with Decimus Brutus. The greater number were with 
Antony, whom they hated for his cruelty ; but were? with 
him because the mantle of Caesar's power had fallen on to 
his shoulders. It was felt by Cicero that if he could induce 
Octavian to act with him the Republic might be again 
established. He would surely have influence enough to keep 
the lad from hankering' after his great uncle's pernicious 
power. He was aware that the dominion did in fact belong 
to the owner of the soldiers, but he thought that he could 
control this boy-officer, and thus have his legions at the 
command of the Republic. 

The Senate had been called together, nominally for the 
purpose of desiring the Consuls of the year to provide a 
guard for its own safety. Cicero makes it an occasion for 
perpetuating the feeling against Antony which had already 
become strong in Rome. He breaks out into praise of 
Octavian, whom he calls " this young Csesar, almost a boy " ; 
tells them what divine things the boy had already done, 
and how he had drawn away from the rebels those two 
indomitable legions, the Martia and the Fourth. Then he 
proceeds to abuse Antony. Tarquinius, the man whose name 
was most odious to Romans, had been unendurable as a 
tyrant, though himself not a bad man; but Antony's only 
object is to sell the empire, and to spend the price. Antony 
had convoked the Senate for November, threatening the 
Senators with awful punishments should they absent 
themselves ; but when the day came, Antony, the Consul, 
had himself fled. He not only pours out the vials of 
his wrath, but of his ridicule upon Antony's head, and 


quotes his bungling words. He gives instances of his 
imprudence and his impotence, and of his greed. Then he 
again praises the young Csesar, and the two Consuls for the 
next year, and the two legions, and Decimus Brutus, who 
is about to fight the battle of the Republic for them in the 
north of Italy; and votes that the necessary guard be supplied. 
In the same evening he addresses the people in his fourth 
Philippic. He again praises the lad, and the two legions, 
and again abuses Antony. No one can say after this day 
that he hid his anger, or was silent from fear. He 
congratulates the Romans on their patriotism, vain con- 
gratulations, and encourages them to make new efforts. He 
bids them rejoice that they have a hero such as Decimus 
Brutus to protect their liberties, and, almost that they have 
such an enemy as Antony to conquer. It seems that his 
words, few as they were, perhaps because they were so few, 
took hold of the people's imaginations ; so that they shouted 
to him that he had on that day a second time saved his 
country, as he reminds them afterwards. 1 

From this time forward we are without those intimate and 
friendly letters which we have had with us as our guide 
through the last twenty-one years of Cicero's life. For though 
we have a large body of correspondence written during the 
last year of his life, which are genuine, they are written in 
altogether a different style from those which have gone before. 
They are for the most part urgent appeals to those of his 
political friends to whom he can look for support in his 

1 Philippics, vi. 1. 


views, often to those to whom he looked in vain. They are 
passionate prayers for the performance of a public duty, and 
as such are altogether to the writer's credit. His letters to 
Plancus are beautiful in their patriotism, as are also those 
to Decimus Brutus. When we think of his age, of his zeal, 
of his earnestness and of the dangers which he ran, we hardly 
know how sufficiently to admire the public spirit with which 
at such a crisis he had taken upon himself to lead the party. 
But our guide to his inner feelings is gone. There are no 
further letters to tell us of every doubt at his heart. We 
think of him as of some stalwart commander left at home 
to arrange the affairs of the war, while the less experienced 
men were sent to the van. 

There is also a book of letters published as having passed 
between Cicero and Junius Brutus. The critics have generally 
united in condemning them as spurious. They are at any 
rate, if genuine, cold and formal in their language. 

Antony had proceeded into Cisalpine Gaul to drive out of 
Bc 43 the province the Consul named by the people to 
setat. 64. g 0vern j^ The nomination of Decimus had in truth 
been Caesar's nomination ; but the right of Decimus to rule was 
at any rate better than that of any other claimant. He had 
been appointed in accordance with the power then in exist- 
ence, and his appointment had been confirmed by the decree 
of the Senate sanctioning all Caesar's acts. It was after all 
a question of simple power, for Caesar had overridden every 
legal form. It became necessary, however, that they who 
were in power in Eome should decide. The Consuls Hirtius 
and Pansa had been Caesar's friends, and had also been the 


friends of Antony. They had not the trust in Antony which 
Csesar had inspired. But they were anxious to befriend him, 
or rather not to break with him. When the Senate met 
they called on one Fufius Calenus, who was Antony's friend 
and Pansa's father-in-law, first to offer his opinion. He had 
been one of Caesar's Consuls, appointed for a month or two, 
and was now chosen for the honourable part of first spokes- 
man, as being a Consular Senator. He was for making terms 
with Antony and suggested that a deputation of three Senators 
should be sent to him with a message calling upon him to 
retire. The object probably was to give Antony time, or 
rather to give Octavian time to join with Antony if it suited 
him. Others spoke in the same sense, and then Cicero was 
desired to give his opinion. This was the fifth Philippic. He 
is all for war with Antony ; or rather he will not call it 
war but a public breach of the peace which Antony has 
made. He begins mildly enough, but warms with his subject 
as he goes on. " Should they send ambassadors to a traitor 
to his country ? " " Let him return from Mutina." I keep 
the old Latin name, which is preserved for us in that of 
Modena. "Let him cease to contend with Decimus. Let 
him depart out of Gaul. It is not fit that we should send 
to implore him to do so. We should by force compel him." 
" We are not sending messages to Hannibal, who, if Hannibal 
would not obey, might be desired to go on to Carthage. 
Whither shall the men go if Antony refuses to obey them?'' 
But it is of no use. With eloquent words he praises Octavian 
and the two legions and Decimus. He praises even the 
coward Lepidus, who was in command of legions, and was 


now Governor of Gaul beyond the Alps and of Northern 
Spain, and proposes that the people should put up to him 
a gilt statue on horseback, so important was it to obtain, if 
possible, his services. Alas, it was impossible that such a 
man should be moved by patriotic motives. Lepidus was 
soon to go with the winning side, and became one of the 
second triumvirate with Antony and Octavian. 

Cicero's eloquence was on this occasion futile. At this 
sitting the Senate came to no decision, but on the third 
day afterwards they decreed that the Senators, Servius 
Sulpicius, Lucius Piso, and Lucius Philippus should be 
sent to Antony. The honours which he had demanded for 
Lepidus and the others were granted, but he was outvoted 
in regard to the ambassadors. On the fourth of January 
Cicero again addressed the people in the Forum. His task 
was very difficult. He wished to give no offence to the 
Senate and yet was anxious to stir the citizens and to excite 
them to a desire for immediate war. The Senate, he told them 
had not behaved disgracefully, but had, temporised. The 
war unfortunately must be delayed for those twenty days 
necessary for the going and coming of the ambassadors. The 
ambassadors could do nothing. But still they must wait. 
In the meantime he will not be idle. For them, the Eoman 
people, he will work and watch with all his experience, with 
diligence almost above his strength, to repay them for their 
faith in him. When Ceesar was with them they had had 
no choice but obedience, so much the times were out of 
joint. If they submit themselves to be slaves now it will 
be their own fault. Then in general language he pronounces 


an opinion, which was the general Eoman feeling of the 
day. " It is not permitted to the Eoman people to become 
slaves; that people whom the immortal gods have willed 
to rule all nations of the earth." l So he ended the sixth 
Philippic, which like the fourth was addressed to the people. 
All the others were spoken in the Senate. 

He writes to Decimus at Mutina about this time a letter 
full of hope, of hope which we can see to be genuine. 
" Eecruits are being raised in all Italy, if that can be called 
recruiting which is in truth a spontaneous rushing into arms 
of the entire population." 2 He expects letters telling him 
what " our Hirtius " is doing, and what " my young Caesar." 
Hirtius and Pansa, the Consuls of the year, though they 
had been of Caesar's party and made Consuls by Caesar, were 
forced to fight for the Eepublic. They had been on friendly 
terms with Cicero, and they doubted Antony. Hirtius had now 
followed the army, and Pansa was about to do so. They 
both fell in the battle that was fought at Mutina, and no 
one can now accuse them of want of loyalty. But " rny 
Caesar," on whose behalf Cicero made so many sweet 
speeches, for whose glory he was so careful, whose early 
republican principles he was so anxious to direct, made his 
terms with Antony on the first occasion ! At that time 
Cicero wrote to Plancus, Consul elect for the next year, 
and places before his eyes a picture of all that he can do 
for the Eepublic. " Lay yourself out, yes, I pray you, by 

1 " Populum Romanum servire fas non est, quern dii immortales omnibus 
gentibus imperare voluerunt." 

2 Ad Div. lib. xi 8. 


the immortal gods, for that which will bring you to the 
height of glory and renown." l 

At the end of January or beginning of February he 
again addressed the Senate, on the subject of the embassy, 
a matter altogether foreign from that which it had been 
convoked to discuss. To Cicero's mind there was no other 
subject at the present moment fit to occupy the thoughts 
of a Roman Senator. " We have met together to settle some- 
thing about the Appian way, and something about the 
coinage. The mind revolts from such little cares, torn 
by greater matters." The ambassadors are expected 
back, two of them at least, for Sulpicius had died on his 
road. He cautions the Senate against receiving with quiet 
composure such an answer as Antony will probably 
send them. "Why do I, I who am a man of peace, 
refuse peace ? Because it is base, because it is full of danger, 
because peace is impossible." Then he proceeds to explain 
that it is so. " What a disgrace would it be that Antony, 
after so many robberies, after bringing back banished comrades, 
after selling the taxes of the State, putting up kingdoms 
to auction, shall rise up on the consular bench and address 
a free Senate!" "Can you have an assured peace while 
there is an Antony in the State, or many Antonys ? " " Or 
how can you be at peace with one who hates you as does he, 
or how can he be at peace with those who hate him as do 
you ? " " You have such an opportunity," he says at last, " as 
never fell to the lot of any. You are able with all senatorial 

1 Ad Div. lib. x. 3. 


dignity, with all the zeal of the knights, with all the favour 
of the Eoman people, now to make the Eepublic free from 
fear and danger, once and for ever." Then he thus ends his 
speech, " About those things which have been brought before 
us, I agree with Servilius." That is the seventh Philippic. 

In February the ambassadors returned ; but returned 
laden with bad tidings. Servius Sulpicius, who was to have 
been their chief spokesman, died just as they reached 
Antony. The other two immediately began to treat with 
him, so as to become the bearers back to Eome of con- 
ditions proposed by him. This was exactly what they had 
been told not to do. They had carried the orders of the 
Senate to their rebellious officer, and then admitted the 
authority of that rebel by bringing back his propositions. 
They were not even allowed to go into Mutina so as to 
see Decimus. But they were in truth only too well in 
accord with the majority of the Senate whose hearts were 
with Antony. Anything to those lovers of their fishponds 
was more desirable than a return to the loyalty of the 
Eepublic. The Deputies were received by the Senate who 
discussed their embassy, and on the next day they met 
again when Cicero pronounced his eighth Philippic. Why 
he did not speak on the previous day I do not know. 
Middleton is somewhat confused in his account. Morabin 
says that Cicero was not able to obtain a hearing when the 
Deputies were received. The Senate did on that occasion 
come to a decision, against which act of pusillanimity Cicero 
on the following day expressed himself very vehemently. 
They had decided that this was not to be called a war, but 


rather a tumult, and seem to have hesitated in denouncing 
Antony as a public enemy. The Senate was convoked on the 
next day to decide the terms of the amnesty to be accorded to 
the soldiers who had followed Antony, when Cicero again 
throwing aside the minor matter, burst upon them in his 
wrath. He had hitherto inveighed against Antony. Now 
his anger is addressed to the Senate. "Lucius Caesar," he 
said, "has told us that he is Antony's uncle and must vote 
as such. Are you all uncles to Antony ? " Then he goes on 
to show that war is the only name by which this rebellion 
can be described. Has not Hirtius who has gone away, sick 
as he is, called it a war ? Has not young Cassar, young as 
he is, prompted to it by no one, undertaken it as a war ? " 
He repeats the words of a letter from Hirtius which could 
only have been used in war. " I have taken Claterna. Their 
cavalry has been put to flight. A battle has been fought. 
So many men have been killed. This is what you call 
peace ! " Then he speaks of other civil wars, which he says 
have grown from difference of opinion, "except that last 
between Pompey and Csesar as to which I will not speak. 
I have been ignorant of its cause and have hated its ending." 
But in this war all men are of one opinion who are worthy 
of the name of Romans. " We are fighting for the temples 
of our gods, for our walls, our homes, for the abode of the 
Roman people, for their Penates, their altars, their hearths, 
for the graves of ancestors, and we are fighting only against 
Antony." " Fufius Calenus tells us of peace ; as though 
I of all men did not know that peace was a blessing. But 
tell me, Calenus, is slavery peace ? " He is very angry with 



Calenus. Although he has called him his friend he was in 
great wrath against him. "I am fighting for Decimus and 
you for Antony. I wish to preserve a Eoman city ; you wish 
to see it battered to the ground. Can you deny this, you 
who are creating all means of delays by which Decimus 
may be weakened and Antony made strong ? " 

" I had consoled myself with this," he says, " that when 
these ambassadors had been sent and had returned despised, 
and had told the Senate that not only had Antony refused to 
leave Gaul, but was besieging Mutina and would not let them 
even see Decimus; that then in our passion and our rage 
we should have gone forth with our arms, and our horses, 
and our men, and at once have rescued our general. But we, 
since we have seen the audacity, the insolence, and the 
pride of Antony, we have become only more cowardly than 
before." Then he gives his opinion about the amnesty. "Let 
any of those who are now with Antony, but shall leave him 
before the Ides of March and pass to the armies of the 
Consuls or of Decimus, or of young Csesar, be held to be free 
from reproach. If any should quit their ranks through their 
own will, let them be rewarded and honoured, as Hirtius and 
Pansa, our consuls, may think proper." This was the eighth 
Philippic and is perhaps the finest of them all. It does not 
contain the bitter invective of the second, but there is in 
it a true feeling of patriotic earnestness. The ninth also is 
very eloquent, though it is rather a psean sung on behalf of 
his friend Sulpicius, who in bad health had encountered the 
danger of the journey, and had died in the effort, than one 
of these Philippics which are supposed to have been written 


and spoken with the view of demolishing Antony. It is a 
specimen of those funereal orations delivered on behalf of a 
citizen who had died in the service of his country, which used 
to be common among the Eomans. 

The tenth is in praise of Marcus Junius Brutus. Were 
I to attempt to explain the situation of Brutus in Macedonia 
and to say how he had come to fill it, I should be carried 
away from my purpose as to Cicero's life and should be 
endeavouring to write the history of the time. My object 
is simply to illustrate the life of Cicero by such facts as we 
know. In the confusion which existed at the time Brutus 
had obtained some advantages in Macedonia, and had re- 
covered for himself the legions of which Caius Antonius had 
been in possession, and who was now a prisoner in his hands. 
At this time young Marcus Cicero was his lieutenant, arid it 
is told us how one of those legions had put themselves under 
his command. Brutus had at any rate written home letters 
to the Senate early in March, and Pansa had called the 
Senate together to receive them. 

Again he attacks Fufius Calenus, Pansa's father-in-law, 
who was the only man in the Senate bold enough to stand up 
against him ; though there were doubtless many of those 
foot Senators, men who traversed the house backwards and 
forwards to give their votes, who were anxious to oppose 
him. He thanks Pansa for calling them so quickly, seeing 
that when they had parted yesterday they had not expected 
to be again so soon convoked. We may gather from this 
the existence of a practice of sending messengers round to 
the Senators' houses to call them together. He praises Brutus 

s 2 


for his courage and his patience. It is his object to convince 
his hearers, and through them the Romans of the day, that 
the cause of Antony is hopeless. Let us rise up and crush 
him. Let us all rise and we shall certainly crush him. There 
is nothing so likely to attain success as a belief that the 
success has been already attained. " From all sides men are 
running together to put out the flames which he has lighted. 
Our veterans, following the example of young Caesar, have 
repudiated Antony and his attempts. The ' Legio Martia ' 
has blunted the edge of his rage and the ' Legio Quarta ' has 
attacked him. Deserted by his own troops he has broken 
through into Gaul, which he has found to be hostile to him 
with its arms and opposed to him in spirit. The armies 
of Hirtius and of young Caesar are upon his trail ; and now 
Pansa's levies have raised the heart of the city and of all 
Italy. He alone is our enemy, although he has along with 
him his brother Lucius, whom we all regret so dearly, 
whose loss we have hardly been able to endure ! What wild 
beast do you know more abominable than that, or more 
monstrous, who seems to have been created lest Marc 
Antony himself should be of all things the most vile?" He 
concludes by proposing the thanks of the Senate to Brutus, 
and a resolution that Quintus Hortensius, who had held 
the province of Macedonia against C. Antonius, should be 
left there in command. The two propositions were carried. 
As we read this all appears to be prospering on behalf of 
the Eepublic. But if we turn to the suspected correspondence 
between Brutus arid Cicero, we find a different state of 
things. And these letters, though we altogether doubt their 


authenticity, for their language is cold, formal, and un- Cicero- 
nian, still were probably written by one who had access to 
those which Cicero had himself penned. " As to what you 
write about wanting men and money, it is very difficult to 
give you advice. I do not see how you are to raise any except 
by borrowing it from the municipalities," in Macedonia, 
" according to the decree of the Senate. As to men, I do not 
know what to propose. Pansa is so far from sparing men 
from his army, that he begrudges those who go . to you as 
volunteers. Some think that he wishes you to be less strong 
than you are, which, however, I do not suspect myself." x 
A letter might fall into the hands of persons not intended to 
read it, and Cicero was forced to be on his guard in communi- 
cating his suspicions, Cicero or the pseudo- Cicero. In the 
next Brutus is rebuked for having left Antony alive when 
Ca3sar was slain. " Had not some god inspired Octavian," 
he says, "we should have been altogether in the power of 
Antony, that base and abominable man. And you see how 
terrible is our contest with him." And he tries to awaken 
him to the necessity of severity. " I see how much you 
delight in clemency. That is very well. But there is 
another place, another time, for clemency. The question for 
us is whether we shall any longer exist or be put out of the 
world." These, which are intended to represent his private 
fears, deal with the affairs of the day in a tone altogether 
different from that of his public speeches. 'Doubt, anxiety, 
occasionally almost despair, are expressed in them. But 

1 Ad Bruttim, lib. ii. G. 


not the less does he thunder on in the Senate, aware that 
to attain success he must appear to have obtained it. 

The eleventh Philippic was occasioned by the news which 
had arrived in Borne of the death of Trebonius. Trebonius had 
been surprised in Smyrna by a stratagem as to which alone no 
disgrace would have fallen on Dolabella, had he not followed 
up his success by killing Trebonius. How far the bloody 
cruelty, of which we have the account in Cicero's words, 
was in truth executed it is now impossible to say. The 
Greek historian, Appian, gives us none of these horrors, but 
simply intimates that Trebonius, having been taken in the 
snare, had his head cut off. 1 That Cicero believed the story 
is probable. It is told against his son-in-law, of whom he 
had hitherto spoken favourably. He would not have spoken 
against the man, except on conviction. Dolabella was im- 
mediately declared an enemy to the Republic. Cicero inveighs 
against him with all his force, and says, that such as Dola- 
bella is, he had been made by the cruelty of Antony. But 
he goes on to philosophise and declare how much more 
miserable than Trebonius was Dolabella himself, who is so 
base that from his childhood those things had been a delight 
to him which have been held as disgraceful by other children. 
Then he turns to the question which is in dispute, whether 
Brutus should be left in command of Macedonia, and Cassius 
of Syria ; Cassius was now on his way to avenge the death 
of Trebonius ; or whether other noble Eomans, Publius 
Servilius for instance, or that Hirtius and Pansa, the two 

1 Appian, De Bell. Civ. lib. iii. ca. 26. 


Consuls, when they can be spared from Italy, shall be sent 
there. It is necessary here to read between the lines. The 
going of the Consuls would mean the withdrawing of the 
troops from Italy and would leave Eoine open to the Csesarean 
faction. At present Decimus and Cicero, and whoever else 
there might be loyal to the Eepublic, had to fight by the 
assistance of other forces than their own. Hirtius and Pansa 
were constrained to take the part of the Eepublic by Cicero's 
eloquence, and by the action of those Senators who felt them- 
selves compelled to obey Cicero. But they did not object 
to send the Consuls away, and the Consular legions, under 
the plea of saving the provinces. This they were willing 
enough to do, with the real object of delivering Italy over 
to those who were Cicero's enemies but were not theirs. All 
this Cicero understood, and, in conducting the contest, had 
to be on his guard, not only against the soldiers of Antony, 
but against the Senators also who were supposed to be his 
own friends, but whose hearts were intent on having back 
some Caesar to preserve for them their privileges. 

Cicero in this matter talked some nonsense. " By what 
right, by what law," he asks. " shall Cassius go to Syria ? 
By that law which Jupiter sanctioned when he ordained that 
all things good for the Eepublic should be just and legal." 
For neither had Brutus a right to establish himself in 
Macedonia as Proconsul, nor Cassius in Syria. This reference 
to Jupiter was a begging of the question with a vengeance. 
But it was perhaps necessary, in a time of such confusion, to 
assume some pretext of legality, let it be ever so poor. 
Nothing could now be done in true obedience to the laws. 


The Triumvirate with Caesar at its head had finally trodden 
down all law. And yet, every one was clamouring for legal 
rights 1 Then he sings the praises of Cassius, but declares that 
he does not dare to give him credit in that place for the greatest 
deed he had done. He means of course the murder of Cassar. 
Paterculus tells us that all these things were decreed by 
the Senate. 1 But he is wrong. The decree of the Senate 
went against Cicero, and on the next day, amidst much 
tumult, he addressed himself to the people on the subject. 
This he did in opposition to Pansa who endeavoured to 
hinder him from speaking in the Forum, and to Servilia, 
the mother-in-law of Cassius, who was afraid lest her 
son-in-law should encounter the anger of the Consuls. He 
went so far as to tell the people that Cassius would not 
obey the Senate but would take upon himself on such an 
emergency to act as best he could for the Republic. 2 There 
was no moment in this stirring year, none I think during 
Cicero's life, in which he behaved with greater courage than 
now in appealing from the Senate to the people, and in the 
hardihood with which he declared that the Senate's decree 
should be held as going for nothing. Before the time came in 
which it could be carried out both Hirtius and Pansa were 
dead. They had fallen in relieving Decimus at Mutina. 
His address on this occasion to the people was not made 
public and has not been preserved. 

1 Veil. Pat. lib. ii. 62. " Quse omnia senatus decretis comprensa et 
comprobata aunt." 

2 Ad Div. lib. xii. 7. This is in a letter to Cassius, in which he says, 
' ' Promisi enim et prope confirmavi, te non expectasse nee expectaturam 
decreta nostra, sed te ipsum tuo more rempublicam tiefensurum." 


Then there came up the question of a second embassy to 
which Cicero at first acceded. He was induced to do so, as 
he says, by news which had arrived of altered circumstances 
on Antony's part. Calenus and Piso had given the Senate 
to understand that Antony was desirous of peace. Cicero 
had therefore assented and had agreed to be one of the 
deputation. The twelfth Philippic was spoken with the 
object of showing that no such embassy should be sent. 
Cicero's condition at this period was most peculiar and most 
perilous. The Senate would not altogether oppose his efforts, 
but they hated them. They feared that if Antony should 
succeed, they who had opposed Antony would be ruined. 
Those among them who were the boldest openly reproached 
Cicero with the danger which they were made to incur in 
fighting his battles. 1 To be rid of Cicero was their desire 
and their difficulty. He had agreed to go on this embassy, 
who can say for what motives ? To him it would be a 
mission of especial peril. It was one from which he could 
hardly hope ever to come back alive. It may be that he had 
agreed to go, with his life in his hand, and to let them know 
that he at any rate had been willing to die for the Republic. 
It may be that he had heard of some altered circumstances. 
But he changed his mind and resolved that he would not go, 
unless driven forth by the Senate. There seems to have 
been a manifest attempt to get him out of Rome and send 
him where he might have his throat cut. But he declined ; 

1 Appian, lib. iii. ca. 50. The historian of the civil wars declares that 
Piso spoke up for Antony, saying that he should not be damnified by loose 
statements, but should be openly accused. Feelings ran very high, but 
Cicero seems to have held his own. 


and this is the speech in which he did so. " It is impossible," 
says the French critic speaking of the twelfth Philippic, " to 
surround the word, ' I fear,' with more imposing oratorical 
arguments." It has not occurred to him that Cicero may have 
thought that he might even yet do something better with the 
lees and dregs of his life than throw them away by thus 
falling into a trap. Nothing is so common to men as to fear 
to die, and nothing more necessary, or men would soon 
cease to live. To fear death more than ignominy is the 
disgrace, a truth which the French critic does not seem to 
have recognised when he twits the memory of Cicero with 
his scornful sneer, " J'ai peur." Did it occur to the French 
critic to ask himself for what purpose should Cicero go to 
Antony's camp, where he would probably be murdered, and 
by so doing favour the views of his own enemies in Eome ? 
The deputation was not sent ; but in lieu of the deputation 
Pausa, the remaining Consul, led his legions out of Eome at 
the beginning of April. 

Lepidus, who was Proconsul in Gaul and Northern Spain, 
D n At wrote a letter at this time to the Senate recommend- 

D.\J. lO. 

setat. 64. ^ them to make peace with Antony. Cicero in 
his thirteenth Philippic shows how futile such a peace would 
be. That Lepidus was a vain inconstant man, looking simply 
to his own advantage in the side which he might choose, 
is now understood ; but when this letter was received he was 
supposed to have much weight in Eome. He had, however, 
given some offence to the Senate, not having acknowledged 
all the honours which had been paid to him. The advice had 
been rejected, and Cicero shows how unfit the man was to 


give it. This, however, he still does with complimentary 
phrases, though from a letter written by him to Lepidus 
about this time the nature of his feeling towards the man 
is declared. " You would have done better in my judgment 
if you had left alone this attempt at making peace, which 
approves itself neither to the Senate, nor to the people, nor 
to any good man." 1 When we remember the ordinary terms 
of Eoman letter writing we must acknowledge that this was 
a plain and not very civil attempt to silence Lepidus. He 
then goes on in the Philippic, to read a letter which Antony 
had sent to Hirtius and to young Caesar, and which they, 
had sent on to the Senate. The letter is sufficiently bold 
and abusive, throwing it in their teeth that they would 
rather punish the murderer of Trebonius than those of Caesar. 
Cicero does this with some wit, but we feel compelled to 
observe that as much is to be said on the one side as 011 
the other. Brutus, Cassius, with Trebonius and others, had 
killed Caesar. Dolabella perhaps with circumstances of great 
cruelty, had killed Trebonius. Cicero had again and again ex- 
pressed his sorrow that Antony had been spared when Caesar 
was killed. We have to go back before the first slaughter 
to resolve who was right and who was wrong, and even after- 
wards, can only take the doings of each in that direction as 
part of the internecine feud. Experience has since explained 
to us the results of introducing bloodshed into such quarrels. 
The laws which recognise war are and were acknowledged. 
But when A kills B, because he thinks B to have done evil, 

1 Ad Dir. lib. x. 27. 


A can no longer complain of murder. And Cicero's criticism 
is somewhat puerile. " And thou, boy ! " Antony had said in 
addressing Octavian " Et te, puer ! " " You shall find him 
to be a man by and by/' says Cicero. Antony's Latin is not 
Ciceronian, " Utrum sit elegantius," he asks, putting some 
further question about Caesar and Trebonius. " As if there 
could be anything elegant "in this war," demands Cicero. 
He goes through the letter in the same way, turning 
Antony into ridicule, in a manner which must have riveted 
in the heart of Fulvia, Antony's wife who was in Eome, 
her desire to have that bitter speaking tongue torn out of 
his mouth. Such was the thirteenth Philippic. 

On the 21st April was spoken the fourteenth and the 
last. Pansa early in the month had left Rome and marched 
towards Mutina with the intention of relieving Decirnus. 
Antony, who was then besieging Mutina after such a fashion 
as to prevent all egress or ingress and had all but brought 
Decimus to starvation, finding himself about to be be- 
sieged, put his troops into motion and attacked those who 
were attacking him. Then was fought the battle in which 
Antony was beaten, and Pansa, one of the Consuls, so 
wounded that he perished soon afterwards. Antony re- 
treated to his camp, but was again attacked by Hirtius 
and Octavian, and by Decimus who sallied out of the 
town. He was routed and fled, but Hirtius was killed in 
the battle. Suetonius tells us that in his time a rumour 
was abroad that Augustus, then Octavian, had himself killed 
Hirtius with his own hands in the fight, Hirtius having 
been his fellow general and fighting on the same side, and 


that lie had paid Glyco, Pansa's doctor, to poison him 
while dressing his wounds. 1 Tacitus had already made the 
story known 2 It is worth repeating here only as showing 
the sort of conduct which a grave historian and a worthy 
biographer were not ashamed to attribute to the favourite 
Emperor of Home. 

It was on the receipt of the news in Rome of the first 

battle, but before the second had been fought, that the last 

Philippic was spoken. Pansa was not known to have been 

mortally wounded, nor Hirtius killed, nor was it known that 

Decimus had been relieved. But it was understood that 

Antony had received a check. Servilius had proposed a 

supplication, and had suggested that they should put away 

their " saga " and go back to their usual attire. The 

"sagum" was a common military cloak which the early 

Eomans wore instead of the "toga" when they went out to 

war. In later days, when the definition between a soldier 

and a civilian became more complete, they who were left at 

home wore the " sagum," in token of their military feelings, 

when the Republic was fighting its battles near at Rome. 

I do not suppose that when Crassus was in Parthia, or Csesar 

in Gaul, the " sagum " was worn. It was not exactly known 

when the distant battles were being fought. But Cicero had 

taken care that the sagum should be properly worn, and had 

even put it on himself, to do which as a Consular was not 

1 Suetonius, Augustus, xi. 

2 Tacitus, Ann. lib. i. x. " Caesis Hirtio et Pansa, sive liostis illos, seu 
Pansam venenum vulneri afifusum, sui milites Hirtium et, machinator doli, 
Caesar abstulerat." 


required of him. Servilius now proposed that they should 
leave off their cloaks, having obtained a victory. But 
Cicero would not permit it. Decirnus, he says, has not been 
relieved, and they had taken to their cloaks as showing their 
determination to succour their general in his distress. And 
he is discontented with the language used. " You have not 
even yet called Antony a ' public enemy.' ' Then he again 
lashes out against the horror of Antony's proceedings. " He 
is waging war, a war too dreadful to be spoken of, against 
four Roman Consuls," he means Hirtius and Pansa who 
were already Consuls, and in truth already dead, and 
Decimus and Plancus who were designated as Consuls for 
the next year. Plaucus, however, joined his legions after- 
wards with those of Antony and assisted in establishing the 
second Triumvirate. " Rushing from one scene of slaughter 
to another he causes wherever he goes misery, desolation, 
bloodshed, and agony." The language is so fine that it is 
worth our while to see the words. 1 " Is he not responsible 
for the horrors of Dolabella ? What he would do in Rome, 
were it not for the protection of Jupiter, may be seen from 
the miseries which his brother has inflicted on those poor 
men of Parma, that Lucius whom all men hate, and the 
gods too would hate, if they hated as they ought. In what 
city was Hannibal as cruel as Antony at Parma ; and shall 
we not call him an enemy ? " Servilius had asked for a 
supplication, but had only asked for one of moderate length. 

1 Philip, xiv. 3. " Omnibus, quanquam ruit ipse suis cladibus, pestein, 
vastitatem, cruciatum, tormenta denuntiat." 


And Servilius had not called the generals " Imperatores." 
Who should be so called but they who have been valiant, 
and lucky and successful? Cicero forgets the meaning of 
the title, and that even Bibulus had been called Imperator 
in Syria. Here he runs off from his subject and at some 
length praises himself. It seems that Borne was in a tumult 
at the time, and that Antony's enemies did all they could to 
support him, and also to turn his head. He had been 
carried into the Senate-house in triumph, and had been 
thanked by the whole city. After lauding the different 
generals, and calling them all " Imperatores," he desires 
the Senate to decree them a " supplication " for fifty days. 
Fifty days are to be devoted to thanksgiving to the gods, 
though it had already been declared how very little they 
have done for which to be thankful, as Decimus had not yet 
been liberated. 

Fifty days are granted for the battle of Mutina which as 
yet was supposed to have been but half fought. When we hear 
the term " supplicatio " first mentioned in Livy one day was 
granted. It had grown to twenty when the gods were thanked 
for the victory over Vercingetorix. Now for this half-finished 
affair fifty was hardly enough. When the time was over 
Antony and Lepidus had joined their forces triumphantly. 
Pansa and Hirtius were dead, and Decimus Brutus had fled 
and had probably been murdered. Nothing increases so out 
of proportion to the occasion as the granting of honours. Stars, 
when they fall in showers, pale their brilliancy, and turn at 
last to no more than a cloud of dust. Honours are soon 
robbed of all their honour when once the first step downwards 


has been taken. The decree was passed, and Cicero finished 
his last speech on so poor an occasion. But though the thing 
itself then done be small and trivial to us now, it was 
completed in magnificent language. 1 The passage of which 
I give the first words below is very fine in the original, 
though it does not well bear translation. Thus he ended 
his fourteenth Philippic, and the silver tongue which had 
charmed Rome so often was silent for ever. 

We at least have no record of any further speech ; nor as 
I think did he again take the labour of putting into words 
which should thrill through all who heard them, not the 
thoughts but the passionate feelings of the moment. 

I will venture to quote from a contemporary his praise of 
the Philippics. Mr. Forsyth says, " Nothing can exceed the 
beauty of the language, the rhythmical flow of the periods, 
and the harmony of the style. The structure of the Latin 
language which enables the speaker or writer to collocate his 
words, not, as in English, merely according to the order of 
thought, but in the manner best calculated to produce effect, 
too often baffles the powers of the translator, who seeks to 
give the force of the passage without altering the arrange- 
ment. Often again, as is the case with all attempts to present 
the thoughts of the ancient in a modern dress, a periphrasis 
must be used to explain the meaning of an idea which was 
instantly caught by the Greek or Eoman ear. Many allusions 
which flashed like lightning upon the minds of the Senators, 
must be explained in a parenthesis, and many a home-thrust 

1 Philip., xiv. 12. " fortuuata mors, quab naturae dcbitu, pro pallia 
cst potissimum reildita." 


and caustic sarcasm are now deprived of their sting, which 
pierced sharply at the moment of their utterance some twenty 
centuries ago. 

" But with all such disadvantages I hope that even the 
English reader will be able to recognise in these speeches 
something of the grandeur of the old Eoman eloquence. 
The noble passages in which Cicero strove to force his 
countrymen for very shame to emulate the heroic virtues 
of their forefathers, and urged them to brave every danger 
and welcome death rather than slavery in the last struggle 
for freedom, are radiant with a glory which not even a 
translation can destroy. And it is impossible not to admire 
the genius of the orator whose words did more than armies 
towards recovering the lost liberty of Home." 

His words did more than armies, but neither could do 
anything lasting for the Republic. What was one honest 
man among so many ? We remember Mommsen's verdict. 
" On the Eoman oligarchy of this period no judgment can be 
passed save one of inexorable and remorseless condemnation." 
The further we see into the facts of Eoman history in our 
endeavours to read the life of Cicero, the more apparent 
becomes its truth. But Cicero, though he saw far towards it, 
never altogether acknowledged it. In this consists the charm 
of his character, though at the same time the weakness of his 
political aspirations; his weakness, because he was vain 
enough to imagine that he could talk men back from their 
fishponds ; its charm, because he was able through it all to 
believe in honesty. The more hopeless became the cause, 
the sweeter, the more impassioned, the more divine, became 



his language. He tuned his notes to still higher pitches of 
melody, and thought that thus he could bring back public 
virtue. Often in these Philippics the matter is small enough. 
The men he has to praise are so little; and Antony does 
not loom large enough in history to have merited from Cicero 
so great a meed of vituperation ! Nor is the abuse all true, 
in attributing to him motives so low. But Cicero was true 
through it all, anxious, all on fire with anxiety, to induce 
those who heard him to send men to fight the battles to 
which he knew them, in their hearts, to be opposed. 

The courage, the persistency, and the skill, shown in the 
attempt were marvellous. They could not have succeeded, 
but they seem almost to have done so. I have said that he 
was one honest man among many. Brutus was honest in his 
patriotism, and Cassius, and all the conspirators. I do not 
doubt that Caesar was killed from a true desire to restore the 
Roman Eepublic. They desired to restore a thing that was 
in itself evil, the evils of which had induced Caesar to see 
that he might make himself its master. But Cicero had 
conceived a Eepublic in his own mind, not Utopian, alto- 
gether human and rational, a Eepublic which he believed 
to have been that of Scipio, of Marcellus, and Lelius, a 
Eepublic which should do nothing for him but require his 
assistance, in which the people should vote and the oligarchs 
rule in accordance with the established laws. Peace and 
ease, prosperity and protection, it would be for the Rome of 
his dream to bestow upon the provinces. Law and order, 
education and intelligence, it would be for her rulers to 
bestow upon Rome, In desiring this he was the one honest 


man among many. In accordance with that theory he had 
lived, and 1 claim for him that he had never departed from it- 
In his latter days, when the final struggle came, when there 
had arisen for him the chance of Cassar's death, when Antony 
was his chief enemy, when he found himself in Borne with 
authority sufficient to control legions, when the young Caesar 
had not shown, probably had not made, his plans, when 
Lepidus and Plancus and Pollio, might still prove them- 
selves at last true men, he was once again alive with his 
dream. There might yet be again a Scipio, or a Cicero as 
good as Scipio in the Eepublic ; one who might have lived 
as gloriously and die, not amidst the jealousies, but with 
the love of his countrymen. 

It was not to be. Looking back at it now we wonder that 
he should have dared to hope for it. But it is to the presence 
within gallant bosoms of hope still springing, though almost 
forlorn, of hope which has in its existence been marvellous, 
that the world is indebted for the most beneficial enterprises. 
It was not given to Cicero to stem the tide and to prevent 
the evil coming of the Csesars ; but still the nature of the 
life he had led, the dreams of a pure Eepublic, those aspira- 
tions after liberty have not altogether perished. We have at 
any rate the record of the great endeavours which he made. 

Nothing can have been worse managed than the victory 
at Mutina. The two Consuls were both killed, but that, it 
may be said, was the chance of war. Antony with all his 
cavalry was allowed to escape eastward towards the Cottian 
Alps. Decimus Brutus seems to have shown himself deficient 
in all the qualities of a general, except that power of en- 

T 2 


durance which can hold a town with little or no provision. 
He wrote to Cicero saying that he would follow Antony. 
He makes a promise that Antony shall not be allowed to 
remain in Italy. He beseeches Cicero to write to that 
" windy fellow Lepidus," to prevent him from joining the 
enemy. Lepidus will never do what is right unless made to 
do so by Cicero. As to Plancus Decimus has his doubts, but 
he thinks that Plancus will be true to the Eepublic now that 
Antony is beaten. 1 In his next letter he speaks of the great 
confusion which has come among them from the death of 
the two Consuls. He declares also how great has been 
Antony's energy in already recruiting his army, He has 
opened all the prisons and workhouses and taken the men he 
found there. Ventidius has joined him with his army, and he 
still fears Lepidus. And young Cassar, who is supposed to be 
on their side, will obey no one and can make none obey him. 
He, Decimus, cannot feed his men. He has spent all his own 
money and his friends'. How is he to support seven legions ? 2 
On the next day he writes again, and is still afraid of Plancus 
and of Lepidus and of Pollio. And he bids Cicero look after 
his good name. Stop the evil tongues of men if you can. 3 
A few days afterwards Cicero writes him a letter which he 
can hardly have liked to receive. What business had Brutus 
to think the senate cowardly ? 4 Who can be afraid of Antony 
conquered who did not fear him in his strength ? How should 
Lepidus doubt now when victory had declared for the Ee- 
public? Though Antony may have collected together the 

1 Ad Div. lib. xi. 9. 3 Ad Div. lib. xi, 10. 3 Ad Div. lib. xi. 11. 
4 Ad Div. lib. xi. 18. 


scrapings of the gaols, Decimus is not to forget that he, 
Decimus, has the whole Eoman people at his back. 

Cicero was probably right to encourage the general, and to 
endeavour to fill him with hope. To make a man victorious 
you should teach him to believe in victory. But Decimus 
knew the nature of the troops around him, and was aware 
that every soldier was so imbued with an idea of the power 
of Csesar that, though Caesar was dead, they could fight with 
only half a heart against soldiers who had been in his 
armies. The name and authority and high office of the two 
Consuls had done something with them, and young Csesar 
had been with the Consuls. But both the Consuls had been 
killed, which was in itself ominous, and Antony was still 
full of hope, and young Csesar was not there, and Decimus 
was unpopular with the men. It was of no use that Cicero 
should write with lofty ideas and speak of the spirit of the 
Senate. Antony had received a severe check, but the feeling 
of military rule which Csesar had engendered was still there, 
and soldiers who would obey their officers were not going to 
submit themselves to "votes of the people." Cicero in the 
meantime had his letters passing daily between himself and the 
camps, thinking to make up by the energy of his pen for the 
weakness of his party. Lepidus sends him an account of his 
movements on the Rhone, declaring how he was anxious to 
surround Antony. Lepidus was already meditating his 
surrender. " I ask from you, my Cicero, that if you have 
seen with what zeal I have in former times served the Ee- 
public, you should look for conduct equal to it or surpassing 
it for the future ; and that you should think me the more 


worthy of your protection, the higher are my deserts. 1 " He 
was already, when writing that letter, in treaty with Antony. 
Plancus writes to him at the same time apologising for his 
conduct in joining Lepidus. It was a service of great danger 
for him, Plancus, but it was necessary for Lepidus that this 
should be done. We are inclined to doubt them all, knowing 
whither they were tending. Lepidus was false from the 
beginning. Plancus doubled for a while, and then yielded 

The reader, I think, will have had no hope for Cicero and 
the Kepublic since the two Consuls were killed ; but as he 
comes upon the letters which passed between Cicero and the 
armies he will have been altogether disheartened. 

1 Ad. Div. lib. x. 34. 


WHAT other letters from Cicero we possess were written 
B.C. 43 a ^ mos t exclusively with the view of keeping the 
aetat. 64. arm y together, and continuing the contest against 
Antony. There are among them a few introductory letters 
of little or no interest. And these military despatches, 
though of importance as showing the eager nature of the 
man, seem as we read them to be foreign to his nature. He 
does not understand war, and devotes himself to instigating 
men to defend the Eepublic of whom we suspect that they 
were not in' the least affected by the words they received 
from him. The correspondence as to this period of his life 
consists of his letters to the generals' and of theirs to him. 
There are nearly as many of the one as of the other, and 
the reader is often inclined to doubt whether Cicero be 
writing to Plancus or Plancus to Cicero. He remained at 
Rome and we can only imagine him as busy among the 
official workshops of the State, writing letters, scraping 
together money for the troops, struggling in vain to raise 
levies, amidst a crowd of hopeless, doubting, disheartened 
Senators whom he still kept together by his eloquence as 
Republicans,' though each was eager to escape. 

But who can be made Consuls in the place of Pansa and 


Hirtius ? Octavian who had not left Italy after the battle of 
Mutina was determined to be one ; but the Senate, probably 
under the guidance of Cicero, for a time would not have 
him. There was a rumour that Cicero had been elected, 
or is said to have been such a rumour. Our authority for it 
comes from that correspondence with Marcus Brutus on the 
authenticity of which we do not trust and the date of which 
we do not know. 1 " When I had already written my letter, 
I heard that you had been made Consul. "When that is done 
I shall believe that we shall have a true Eepublic, and one 
supported by its own strength." But probably neither was 
the rumour true, nor the fact that there was such a rumour. 
It was not thus that Octavian meant to play his part. He had 
been^ passed over by Cicero when a general against Antony 
was needed. Decimus had been used, and Hirtius and 
Pansa had been employed as though they had been them- 
selves strong as were the Consuls of old. So they were to 
Cicero, in whose ears the very name of Consul had in it 
a resonance of the magnificence of Rome. Octavian thought 
that Pansa and Hirtius were but Caesar's creatures who at 
Caesar's death had turned against him. But even they had 
been preferred to him. In those days he was very quick 
to learn. He had been with the army, and with Caesar's 
soldiers, and was soon instructed in the steps which it was 
wise that he should take. He put aside, as with a sweep of 
his hand, all the legal impediments to his holding the 
Consulship. Talk to him of age! He had already heard 
that word 'boy' too often. He would show them what 

1 Ad Brutum, lib. i. 4. 


a boy would do. He would let them understand that 
there need be no necessity for him to canvas, to sue for the 
Consulship cap in hand, to have morning levies and to know 
men's names, as had been done by Cicero. His uncle had 
not gone through those forms when he had wanted the 
Consulship. Octavian sent a military order by a band of 
officers, who, marching into the Senate, demanded the office. 
When the old men hesitated, one Cornelius a Centurion 
showed them his sword and declared that by means of that 
should his general be elected Consul. The Greek biographers 
and historians, Plutarch, Dio, and Appian, say that he was 
minded to make Cicero his fellow Consul, promising to be 
guided by him in everything ; but it could hardly have been 
so, with the feelings which were then hot against Cicero 
in Octavian's bosom. Dio Cassius is worthy of little credit 
as to this period, and Appian less so, unless when supported 
by Latin authority. And we find that Plutarch inserts stories 
with that freedom which writers use who do not suppose 
that others coming after them will have wider sources of 
information than their own. Octavian marched into Rome 
with his legions and had himself chosen Consul in con- 
junction with Quintius Pedius, who had also been one of 
the coheirs to Csesar's will. This happened in September. 
Previous to this Cicero had sent to Africa for troops ; but the 
troops when they came all took part with the young Caesar. 

A story is told which appears to have been true, and 
to have assisted in creating that enmity which at last 
induced Octavian to assent to Cicero's death. He was told 
that Cicero had said that " the young man was to be praised, 


and rewarded, and elevated!" 1 The last word "tollen- 
dum" has a double meaning; might be elevated to the 
skies, or to the "gallows." In English if meaning the 
latter, we should say that such a man must be " put out 
of the way." Decimus Brutus told this to Cicero as having 
been repeated by Sigulius, and Cicero answers him, heaping 
all maledictions upon Sigulius. But he does not deny the 
words, or their intention, and though he is angry, he is 
angry half in joke. He had probably allowed himself to 
use the witticism, meaning little or nothing, choosing the 
phrase without a moment's thought, because it contained a 
double meaning. No one can conceive that he meant to 
imply that young Caesar should be murdered. "Let us 
reward him, but for the moment let us be rid of him." And 
then too he had in the same sentence called him a boy. 
As far as evidence goes we know that the words were spoken. 
We can trust the letter from Decimus to Cicero and the answer 
from Cicero to Decimus. And we know that, a short time 
afterwards, Octavian sitting in the island near Bologna with 
Antony consented that Cicero's name should be inserted in 
the fatal list as one of those doomed to be murdered. 

In the meantime Lepidus had taken his troops over to 
Antony, and Pollio joined them soon afterwards with his 
from Spain. After that it was hardly to be expected that 
Plancus should hesitate. There has always been a doubt 
whether Plancus should, or should not be regarded as a 
traitor. He held out longer than the others, and is supposed 

1 Ad Div. lib. xL 20. " Ipsum Cajsarcm nihil sane de tc questum, nisi 
quod diceret, tc dixisse, laiulandum adolesccntem, ornandum, tollenduni." 


to have been true in those assurances which he made to 
Cicero of Republican fervour. Why was he bound to obey 
Cicero who was then at Rome, sending out his order , 
without official authority ? While the Consuls had been 
alive, he could obey the Consuls. And at the Consul's 
death, he could for a while follow the spirit of their instruc- 
tions. But as that spirit died away he found himself without 
orders other than Cicero's. In this condition was it not 
better for him to go with the other Generals of the 
Empire rather than to perish with, a falling party? In 
addition to this it will happen at such a time that the 
soldiers themselves have a will of their own. With them 
the name of Caesar was still powerful, and to their thinking 
Antony was fighting on dead Cresar's side. When we 
read the history of this year the fact becomes clear that out 
of Eome Csesar's name was more powerful than Cicero's 
eloquence. Governed by such circumstances, driven by 
events which he could not control, Plancus has the merit 
of having been the last among the doubtful generals to 
desert the cause which Cicero had at heart. Cassius and 
Brutus in the East were still collecting legions for the 
battle of Philippi. With that we shall have no trouble 
here. In the West Plancus found himself bound to follow 
the others, and to join Antony and Lepidus in spite of 
the protestations he had made. To those who read Cicero's 
letters of this year, the question must often arise whether 
Plancus was a true man. I have made his excuse to the 
reader with all that I can say in his favour. The memory 
of the man is, however, unpleasant to me. 


Decimus, when lie found himself thus alone, endeavoured 
to force his way with his army along the northern shore of 
the Adriatic, so as to join Marcus Brutus in Macedonia. To 
him, as one of those who had slain Cassar, no power was left 
of deserting. He was doomed unless he were victorious. He 
was deserted by his soldiers who left him in batches, and 
at last was taken alive, when wandering through the country, 
and sent, dead, to Antony. Marcus Brutus and Cassius seem 
to have turned a deaf ear to all Cicero's entreaties that they 
should come to his rescue. Cicero in his last known letter, 
which however was written as far back as in July, 
is very eager with Cassius. " Only attempts are heard of 
your army, very great in themselves, but we expect to 
hear of deeds." " Nothing can be grander or more noble than 
yourself, and therefore it is that we are longing for you 
here in Eome." " Believe me that everything depends on 
you and Brutus, that we are waiting for both of you. 
For Brutus we are waiting constantly." * This was after 
Lepidus had gone, but while Plancus was supposed to be as 
yet true, or rather not yet false. He did no doubt write 
letters to Brutus urging him in the same way. Alas, alas ! 
It was his final effort made for the Republic. 

In September Octavian marched into Eome as a con- 
queror, at the head of those troops from Africa which had 
been sent as a last resource to help the Republicans. Then 
we may imagine that Cicero recognised the fact that there 
was left nothing further for which to struggle. The 

1 Ad Div. lib. xii. 10. 


Republic was done, his dream was over, and he could only 
die. Brutus and Cassius might still carry on the contest ; 
but Borne had now fallen a second time in spite of his 
efforts, and all hope must have fled from him. When Caesar 
had conquered at Pharsalia, and on his return from the East 
had graciously met him at Brundisium and had generously 
accorded to him permission to live under the shadow of his 
throne, the time for him must have been full of bitterness. 
But he had not then quite realised the meaning of a tyrant's 
throne. He had not seen how willingly the people would 
submit themselves, how little they cared about their liberty, 
nor had he as yet learned the nature of military despotism. 
Rome had lived through Sulla's time, and the Republic 
had been again established. It might live through Caesar's 
period of command. When Caesar had come to him and 
supped with him, as a Prince with one of his subjects, 
his misery had been great. Still there was a hope though 
he knew not from whence. Those other younger men had 
felt as he had felt, and Caesar had fallen. To his eyes it 
was as though some god had interfered to restore to him, a 
Roman, his ancient form of government. Csesar was now 
dead and all would be right, only that Antony was left 
alive. There was need for another struggle before Consuls, 
Praetors, and ^Ediles could be elected in due order; and 
when he found that the struggle was to be made under 
his auspices, he girded up his loins and was again happy. 
No man can be unhappy who is pouring out his indignation 
in torrents and is drinking in the applause of his audience. 
Every hard word hurled at Antony, and every note of praise 


heard in return, was evidence to him of his own power. He 
did believe, while the Philippics were going on, that he 
was stirring up a mighty power to arouse itself and claim 
its proper dominion over the world. There were moments 
between in which he may have been faint-hearted, in which 
he may have doubted as to young Caesar, in which he feared 
that Pansa might escape from him, or that Decimus would 
fall before relief could reach him ; but action lent a 
pleasantness and a grace to it all. It is sweet to fight with 
the hope of victory. But now when young Caesar had 
marched into Eome with his legions, and was doubtless 
prepared to join himself to Antony, there was no longer 
anything for Cicero to do in this world. 

It is said, but not as I think on good authority, that 
Cicero went out to meet Csesar, and if to. meet him, then 
also to C' ngratulate him. Appian tells us that in the Senate 
Cicero hastened to congratulate Caesar, assuring him how 
anxious he had been to secure the Consulship for him, 
and how active. Caesar smiled and said that Cicero had 
perhaps been a little late in his friendship. 1 Dio Cassius 
only remarks that Csesar was created Consul by the people in 
the regular way, two Consuls having been chosen, and adds 
that the matter was one of great glory to Ccesar, seeing that 
he had obtained the Consulship at an unusually early age. 2 
But as I have said above their testimony for many reasons 
is to be doubted. Each wrote in the interest of the Caesars, 
and, in dealing with the period before the Empire, seems only 

1 Appian, lib. iii. 92. u Dio Cassius, lib. xlvi. 46. 


to have been anxious to make out some connected story which 
should suit the Emperor's views. Young Caesar left Eome 
still with the avowed purpose of proceeding against Antony, 
as against one declared by the Senate to be an enemy ; 
but the purpose was only avowed. Messengers followed him 
on the road informing him that the ban had been removed, 
and he was then at liberty to meet his friend on friendly 
terms. Antony had sent word to him that it was not so 
much his duty as young Caesar's to avenge the death of his 
uncle, and that unless he would assist him, he, Antony, 
would take his legions and join Brutus and Cassius. 1 I 
prefer to believe with Mr. Forsyth that Cicero had retired 
with his brother Quintus to one of his villas. Plutarch tells us 
that he went to his Tusculan retreat, and that on receiving 
news of the proscriptions he determined to remove to Astura, 
on the sea side, in order that he might be ready to escape 
into Macedonia. Octavian in the meantime, having caused 
a law to be passed by Pedius condemning all the conspirators 
to death, went northwards to meet Antony and Lepidus at 
Bononia, the Bologna of to-day. Here it wa necessary that 
the terms of the compact should be settled by which the 
spoils of the world should be divided among them, and here 
they met, these three men, in a small river island, remote 
from the world, where as it is supposed, each might think 
himself secure from the other. Antony and Lepidus were 
men old in craft. Antony in middle life and Lepidus 
somewhat older. Caesar was just twenty-one. But from 

Veil. Paterculus, lib. ii. 65. 


all that we have been able to gather as to that meeting he 
was fully able to hold his own with his elders. What each 
claimed as his share in the Empire is not so much matter 
of history, as the blood which each demanded. Paterculus 
says that the death-warrants which were then signed were 
all arranged in opposition to Caesar. 1 But Paterculus wrote 
as the servant of Tiberius, and had been the servant of 
Augustus. It was his object to tell the story as much in 
favour of Augustus as it could be told. It is said that, 
debating among themselves the murders which each desired 
for his own security, young Caesar, on the third day only, 
gave up Cicero to the vengeance of Antony. It may have 
been so. It is impossible that we should have a record of 
what took place from day to day on that island. But we 
do know that there Cicero's death was pronounced, and to 
that doom young Csesar assented. It did not occur to 
them, as it would have done to Julius Csesar at such a time, 
that it would be better that they should show their mercy 
than their hatred. This proscription was made by hatred 
and not by fear. It was not Brutus and Cassius against 
whom it was directed, the common enemies of the three 
Triumviri. Sulla had attempted to stamp out a whole 
faction and so far succeeded as to strike dumb with awe the 
remainder. But here the bargain of death was made by 
each against the other's friends. "Your brother shall go," 
said Antony to Lepidus. " If so, your uncle also," said 
Lepidus to Antony. So the one gave up his brother and the 

1 Veil. Paterculus, lib. ii. 66. " Rcpugnante Ctesare, scd frustra adversus 
duos, instauratum Sullani exempli maluin, proscriptio. " 


other his uncle to indulge the private spleen of his partner. 
And Cicero must go to appease both. As it happened, though 
Cicero's fate was spoken, the two others escaped their doom. 
" Nothing so bad was done in those days ! " says Paterculus. 
" That Csesar should have been compelled to doom any one to 
death or that such a one as Cicero should have been doomed by 
any." l Middleton thinks, and perhaps with fair reason, that 
Caesar's objection was feigned, and that his delay was made for 
show. A slight change in quoting the above passage, uninten- 
tionally made, favours his view. " Or that Cicero should have 
been proscribed by him," he says turning " ullo " into " illo." 
The meaning of the passage seems to be, that it was sad that 
Csesar should have been forced to yield, or that any one should 
have been there to force him. As far as Csesar is concerned 
it is palliative rather than condemnatory. Suetonius, indeed, 
declares that though Augustus for a time resisted the pro- 
scription having once taken it in hand he pursued it more 
bloodily than the others. 2 It is said that the list when com- 
pleted contained the names of three hundred Senators and 
two thousand knights ; but their fate was for a time post- 
poned and most of them ultimately escaped. We have no 
word of their deaths as would have been the case had they 
all fallen. Seventeen were named for instant execution, and 
against these their doom went forth. We can understand 
that Cicero's name should have been the first on the list. 

1 Veil. Paterculus, lib. ii. 66. " Nihil tarn indignum illo tempore fuit, 
quam quod aut Csesar aliquem proscribere coactus est, aut ab ullo Cicero 
proscriptus est." 

2 Suetonius, Augustus, 27. "In quo restitit quidem aliquamdiu collegis, 
ne qua fieret proscriptio, sed inceptam utroque acerbius exercuit." 



We are told that when the news reached Eome the whole 
city was struck with horror. During the speaking of the 
Philippics the Kepublican party had been strong and Cicero 
had been held in favour. The soldiers had still clung to the 
memory of Caesar ; but the men of mark in the city, those 
who were indolent and rich and luxurious, the " fishponders " 
generally, had thought that now Csesar was dead, and 
especially as Antony had left Eome, their safest course would 
be to join the Eepublic. They had done so, and had found 
their mistake. Young Caesar had first come to Home and 
they had been willing enough to receive him, but now he had 
met Antony and Lepidus, and the bloody days of Sulla were 
to come back upon them. All Eome was in such a tumult 
of horror and dismay that Pedius, the new Consul, was 
frightened out of his life by the clamour. The story goes 
that he ran about the town trying to give comfort, assuring 
one and another that he had not been included in the lists, 
till, as the result of it all, he himself when the morning came, 
died from the exertion arid excitement. 

There is extant a letter addressed to Octavian, supposed to 
have been written by Cicero, and sometimes printed among 
his works, which if written by him must have been 
composed about this time. It ho doubt was a forgery, and 
probably of a much later date. But it serves to show what 
were the feelings presumed to have been in Cicero's bosom 
at the time. It is full of abuse of Antony, and of young 
Csesar. I can well imagine that such might have been 
Cicero's thoughts as he remembered the praise with which 
he had laden the young man's name, how he had decreed to 


him most unusual honours and voted statues for him. It had 
all been done in order that the Republic might be preserved, 
but had all been done in vain. It must have distressed him 
sorely at this time as he reflected how much eulogy he had 
wasted. To be sneered at by the boy when he came back to 
Rome to assume the Consulship, and to be told with a laugh 
that he had been a little late in his welcome ! And to hear 
that the boy had decreed his death in conjunction with 
Antony and Lepidus ! This was all that Rome could do for 
him at the end, for him who had so loved her, suffered so 
much for her, and been so valiant on her behalf ! Are you 
not a little late to welcome me as one of my friends, the boy 
had said when Cicero had bowed and smiled to him ! Then 
the next tidings that reached him contained news that he was 
condemned ! Was this the youth of whom he had declared 
since the year began that " he knew well all the boy's 
sentiments; that nothing was dearer to the lad than the 
Republic, nothing more reverent than the dignity of the 
Senate" ? Was it for this that he had bade the Senate 
" fear nothing " as to young Octavian, " but always still look 
for better and greater things " ? Was it for this that he had 
pledged his faith for him with such confident words ? "I 
promise for him, I become his surety, I engage myself, Con- 
script Fathers, that Gains Csesar will always be such a citizen 
as he has shown himself to-day." l And thus the young man 
had redeemed his tutor's pledges on his behalf ! " A little 
late to welcome me, eh ? " his pupil had said to him, an 

1 Phil. 4, ca. xviii. 

u 2 


had agreed that he should be murdered. But, as I have 
said, the story of that speech rests on doubtful authority. 

Had not Cicero too rejoiced at the uncle's murder ? And 
having done so was he not bound to endure the enmity 
he had provoked ? He had not indeed killed Caesar or 
been aware that he was to be killed ; but still it must be 
said of him that having expressed his satisfaction at what 
had been done, he had identified himself with those who had 
killed him, and must share their fate. The slaying of a 
tyrant was almost by law enjoined upon Eomans, was at 
any rate regarded as a virtue rather than a crime. There 
of course arises the question who is to decide whether a man 
be a tyrant, and, the idea being radically wrong, becomes 
enveloped in difficulty out of which there is no escape. But 
there remains as a fact the existence of the feeling which was 
at the time held to have justified Brutus, and also Cicero. 
A man has to inquire of his own heart with what amount 
of criminality he can accuse the Cicero of the day, or the 
young Augustus. Can any one say that Cicero was base to 
have rejoiced that Caesar had been killed ? Can any one not 
regard with horror the young Consul as he sat there in 
the privacy of the island with Antony on one side and 
Lepidus on the other, and then in the first days of his 
youth, with the down just coming on his cheeks, sent forth 
his edict for slaughtering the old friend of the Republic ? 

It is supposed that Cicero left Eome in company with his 
BC 43 brother Quintus, and that at first they went to 
setat.64. Tusculum. There was no bar to their escaping 
from Italy had they so chosen, and probably such was 


their intention as soon as tidings reached them of the 
proscription. It is pleasant to think that they should again 
have become friends before they died. In truth Marcus the 
elder was responsible for his brother's fate. Quintus had 
foreseen the sun rising in the political horizon and had made 
his adorations accordingly. He, with others of his class, had 
shown himself ready to bow down before Csesar. With his 
brother's assent he had become Caesar's lieutenant in Gaul, 
such employment being in conformity with the practice of the 
Republic. When Csesar had returned, and the question as 
to power arose at once between Csesar and Pompey, Quintus 
who had then been with his brother in Cilicia, was restrained 
by the influence of Marcus. But after Pharsalia the in- 
fluence of Mure us was on the wane. We remember how 
young Quintus had broken away and had joined Caesar's 
party. He had sunk so low that he had become " Antony's 
right hand." In that direction lay money, luxury, and all 
those good things which the government of the day had to 
offer. Cicero was so much in Caasar's eyes that Csesar 
despised the elder and the younger Quintus for deserting 
their great relative and would hardly have them. The 
influence of the brother and the uncle sat heavily on them. 
The shame of being Csesarean while he was Pompeian, the 
shame of siding with Antony while he sided with the Re- 
public, had been too great for them. While he was speaking 
his Philippics they could not but be enthusiastic on the same 
side. And now when he was proscribed they were both 
proscribed with him. As the story goes Quintus returned 
from Tusculum to Rome to seek provision for their journey to 


Macedonia ; there met his son, and they both died gallantly. 
Antony's hirelings came upon the two together, or nearly 
together, and, finding the son first, put him to the torture, so 
to learn from him the place of his father's concealment. Then 
the father hearing his son's screams rushed out to his aid, and 
the two perished together. But this story also comes to us 
from Greek sources and must be taken for what it is worth. 

Marcus, alone in his litter, travelled through the country 
to his sea-side villa at Astura. Then he went on to Formise, 
sick with doubt, not knowing whether to stay and die or 
encounter the winter sea in such boat as was provided for 
him. Should he seek the uncomfortable refuge of Brutus' s 
army ? "We can remember his bitter exclamations as to the 
miseries of camp life. He did go on board ; but was brought 
back by the winds and his servants could not persuade him 
to make another attempt. Plutarch tells us that he was 
minded to go to Eome, to force his way into young Csesar's 
house and there to stab himself; but that he was deterred 
from this melodramatic death by the fear of torture. The 
story only shows how great had been the attention given 
to every detail of his last moments, and what the people in 
Eome had learned to say of them. The same remark 
applies to Plutarch's tale as to the presuming crows who 
pecked at the cordage of his sails when his boat was turned 
to go back to the land, and afterwards with their beaks strove 
to drag the bedclothes from off him when he lay waiting his 
fate the night before the murderers came to him. 

He was being carried down from his villa at Formife 
to the sea-side when Antony's emissaries came upon him 


in his litter. There seem to have been two of them, 
both soldiers and officers in the pay of Antony, Popilius 
Lsenas and Herennius. They overtook him in the wood 
through which paths ran from the villa down to the sea- 
shore. On arriving at the house they had not found Cicero, 
but were put upon his track by a freed man who had be- 
longed to Quintus, named Philologus. He could hardly have 
done a kinder act than to show the men the way how they 
might quickly release Cicero from his agony. They went 
down to the end of the wood and there met the slaves bearing 
the litter. The men were willing to fight for their master ; 
but Cicero, bidding them put down the chair, stretched out his 
neck and received his death-blow. Antony had given special 
orders to his servants. They were to bring Cicero's head and 
his hands, the hands which had written the Philippics and 
the tongue which had spoken them, and his order was 
obeyed to the letter. Cicero was nearly sixty-four when he 
died, his birthday being. on the 3rd of January following. It 
would be hardly worth our while to delay ourselves for a 
moment with the horrors of Antony's conduct, and those of 
his wife Fulvia, Fulvia the widow of Clodius and the wife of 
Antony, were it not that we may see what were the manners 
to which a great Roman lady had descended in those days 
in which the Republic was brought to an end. On the rostra 
was stuck up the head and the hands as a spectacle to the 
people, while Fulvia specially avenged herself by piercing the 
tongue with her bodkin. That is the story of Cicero's death 
as it has been generally told. 

We are told also that Rome heard the news and saw the 


sight with ill-suppressed lamentation. We can easily believe 
that it should have been so. I have endeavoured as I have 
gone on with my work to compare him to an Englishman of 
i:he present day ; but there is no comparing English eloquence 
to his, .or the ravished ears of a Eoman audience to the 
pleasure taken in listening to our great orators. The world 
has become too impatient for oratory, and then our northern 
senses cannot appreciate the melody of sounds as did the finer 
organs of the Eoman people. We require truth, and justice, 
and common sense from those who address us, and get much 
more out of our public speeches than did the old Italians. 
We have taught ourselves to speak so that we may be believed, 
or have come near to it. A Eoman audience did not much 
care, I fancy, whether the words spoken were true. But it 
was indispensable that they should be sweet, and sweet they 
always were. Sweet words were spoken to them, with their 
cadences all measured, with their rhythm all perfect ; but 
no words had ever been so sweet as those of Cicero. I even, 
with my obtuse ears, can find myself sometimes lifted by them 
into a world of melody little as I know of their pronunciation 
and their tone. And with the upper classes, those who read, 
his literature had become almost as divine as his speech. He 
had come to be the one man who could express himself in 
perfect language. As in the next age the Eclogues of Virgil 
and the Odes of Horace became dear to all the educated 
classes because of the charm of their expression, so in their 
time, I fancy, had become the language of Cicero. It is not 
surprising that men should have wept when they saw that 
ghastly face staring at them from the rostra, and th< 


protruding tongue, and the outstretched hands. The marvel 
is that seeing it they should still have borne with Antony. 

That which Cicero has produced in literature is as a rule 
admitted to be excellent ; but his character as a man has been 
held to be tarnished by three faults, dishonesty, cowardice, 
and insincerity. As to the first I have denied it altogether, 
and my denial is now submitted to the reader for his judg- 
ment. It seems to have been brought against him, not in 
order to make him appear guilty, but because it has appeared 
to be impossible that when others were so deeply in fault, he 
should have been innocent. That he should have asked for 
nothing, that he should have taken no illicit rewards, that he 
should not have submitted to be fee'd, but that he should have 
kept his hands clean while all around him were grasping 
at everything, taking money, selling their aid for stipulated 
payments, grinding miserable creditors, has been too much for 
men to believe. I will not take my readers back over the 
cases brought against him, but will ask them to ask them- 
selves whether there is one supported by evidence fit to go 
before a jury. The accusations have been made by men 
clean-handed themselves ; but to them it has appeared 
unreasonable to believe that a Roman oligarch of those days 
should be an honest gentleman. 

As to his cowardice I feel more doubt as to my power of 
carrying my readers with me, though no doubt as to Cicero's 
courage. Cowardice in a man is abominable. But what is 
cowardice ? and what courage ? It is a matter 'in which so 
many errors are made ! Tinsel is so apt to shine like gold 
and dazzle the sight ! In one of the earlier chapters of this 


book, when speaking of Catiline, I have referred to the 
remarks of a contemporary writer. " The world has generally 
a generous word for the memory of a brave man dying for 
his cause!" "All wounded in front," is quoted by this 
author from Sallust. " Not a man taken alive ! Catiline 
himself gasping out his life ringed around with corpses of 
his friends." That is given as a picture of a brave man 
dying for his cause, who should excite our admiration even 
though his cause were bad. In the previous lines we have 
an intended portrait of Cicero who " thinking no doubt that 
he had done a good day's work for his patrons declined 
to run himself into more danger." Here is one story told of 
courage, and another of fear. Let us pause for a moment, 
and regard the facts. Catiline when hunted to the last gasp 
faced his enemy and died fighting like a man, or a bull. 
Who is there cannot do so much as that ? For a shil- 
ling or eighteenpence a day we can get an army of brave 
men who will face an enemy, and die if death should come. 
It is not a great thing, nor a rare, for a man in battle not to 
run away. With regard to Cicero the allegation is that he 
would not be allowed to be bribed to accuse Caesar and thus 
incur danger. The accusation which is thus brought against 
him is borrowed from Sallust and is no doubt false ; but I 
take it in the spirit in which it is made. Cicero feared to 
accuse Caesar, lest he should find himself enveloped through 
Caesar's means in fresh danger. Grant that he did so. Was 
he wrong- at such a moment to save his life for the 
Republic; and for himself? His object was to banish 
Catiline, and not to catch in his net every existing 


conspirator. He could stop the conspiracy by securing a few, 
and might drive many into arms by endeavouring to encircle 
all. Was this cowardice ? During all those days he had 
to live with his life in his hands, passing about among con- 
spirators who he knew were, sworn to kill him, and in the 
midst of his danger he could walk and talk and think like 
a man. It was the same when he went down into the court 
to plead for Milo, with the gladiators of Clodius and the 
soldiery of Pompey equally adverse to him. It was the same 
when he uttered Philippic after Philippic in the presence of 
Antony's friends. True courage to my thinking consists not 
in facing an unavoidable danger. Any man worthy of the 
name can do that. The felon that will be hung to-morrow 
shall walk up to the scaffold and seem ready to surrender 
the life he cannot save. But he who, with the blood running 
hot through his veins, with a full desire of life at his heart, 
with high aspirations as to the future, with everything around 
him to make him happy, love and friendship and pleasant 
work, rwhen he can willingly imperil all because duty re- 
quires it, he is brave. Of such a nature was Cicero's courage. 
As to the third charge, that of insincerity, I would ask 
of my readers to bethink themselves how few men are sincere 
now ? How near have we approached to the beauty of truth, 
with all Christ's teaching to guide us ? Not by any means 
close, though we are nearer to it than the Eomans were in 
Cicero's days. At any rate we have learned to love it dearly, 
though we may not practise it entirely. He also had learned 
to love it, but not yet to practise it quite so well as we do. 
When it shall be said of men truly that they are thoroughly 


sincere, then the millennium will have come. We natter 
and love to be flattered. Cicero flattered men and loved it 
"better. We are fond of praise, and all but ask for it. 
Cicero was fond of it, and did ask for it. But when truth 
was demanded from him, truth was there. 

Was Cicero sincere to his party, was he sincere to his 
friends, was he sincere to his family, was he sincere to his 
dependants ? Did he offer to help and not help ? Did he 
ever desert his ship, when he had engaged himself to serve ? 
I think not. He would ask one man to praise him to another, 
and that is not sincere. He would apply for eulogy to the 
historian of his day, and that is not sincere. He would speak 
ill or well of a man before the judge, according as he was 
his client or his adversary, and that perhaps is not sincere. 
But I know few in history on whose positive sincerity in 
a cause his adherents could rest with greater security. 
Look at his whole life with Pompey, as to which we see 
his little insincerities of the moment because we have his 
letters to Atticus ; but he was true to his political idea of a 
Pompey long after that Pompey had faded from his dreams. 
For twenty years we have every thought of his heart, and 
because the feelings of one moment vary from those of 
another, we call him insincere. What if we had Pompey's 
thoughts, and Caesar's, would they be less so ? Could Caesar 
have told us all his feelings? Cicero was insincere. I 
cannot say otherwise. But he was so much more sincere 
than other llomaus as to make me feel that when writing his 
life, I have been dealing with the character of one who might 
have been a modern gentleman. 



IT is well known that Cicero's works are divided into 
four main parts. There are the Rhetoric, the Orations, the 
Epistles, and the Philosophy. There is a fifth part indeed, 
the Poetry ; but of that there is not much, and of the little 
we have but little is esteemed. There are not many, I fear, 
who think that Cicero has deserved well of his country by 
his poetry. His prose works have been divided as I have 
stated them. Of these, two portions have been dealt with 
already, as far as I am able to deal with them. Of the 
Orations and Epistles I have spoken as I have gone on with 
my task, because the matter there treated has been available 
for the purposes of biography. The other two, the Ehetoric 
and the Philosophy, have been distinct from the author's life. 1 
They might have been good or bad, and his life would have 
been still the same. Therefore it is necessary to divide them 
from his life, and to speak of them separately. They are the 
work of his silent chamber, as the others were the enthusiastic 
outpourings of his daily spirit, or the elaborated arguments of 
his public career. Who has left behind him so widely spread 
a breadth of literature ? Who has made so many efforts and 

1 In the following list I have divided the latter, making the Moral Essays 
separate from the Philosophy. 


Las so well succeeded in them all ? I do not know that it 

has ever been given to any one man to run up and down the 
strings of knowledge and touch them all as though each had 
been his peculiar study, as Cicero has done. 

His rhetoric has been always made to come first because, 
upon the whole, it was first written. It may be as well here 
to give a list of his main works, with their dates, premising, 
however, that we by no means in that way get over the 
difficulty as to time even in cases as to which we are sure 
of our facts. A treatise may have been commenced, and 
then put by, or may have been written some time previously 
to publication. Or it may be, as were those which are called 
the Academica, that it was remodelled, and altered in its 
shape and form. The Academica were written at the instance 
of Atticus. We now have the altered edition of a fragment of 
the first book, and the original of the second book. In this 
manner there have come discrepancies, which nearly break the 
heart of him who would fain make his list clear. But here, 
on the whole, is presented to the reader with fair accuracy a 
list of the works of Cicero independent of that continual but 
ever-changing current of his thought which came welling out 
from him daily in his speeches and his letters. Again, how- 
ever, we must remember that here are omitted all those which 
are either wholly lost or have come to us only in fragments 
too abruptly broken for the purposes of continuous study. 
Of these I will not even attempt to give the names, though 
when we remember some of the subjects, the " De Gloria," 
the " De Re Militari ; " he could not go into the army for a 
month or two without writing a book about it; the "De 
Auguriis," the " De Philosophia," the " De Suis Temporibus," 



the "De Suis Consiliis," the "De Jure Civili," and the "De 
Universe," we may well ask ourselves what were the subjects 
on which he did not write. In addition to these much that 
lias come to us has been extracted, as it were unwillingly, 
from palimpsests, and is, from that and from other causes, 
fragmentary. We have indeed only fragments of the essays, 
" De Eepublica," " De Legibus," " De Natura Deorum," " De 
Divinatione" and "De Fato," in addition to the " Academica." 
The list of the works of which it is my purpose to give 
some shortest possible account in the following chapters, is 
as follows : 


Those as to Rhetoric are marked * 

,, Philosophy ,, f 

The Moral Essays ,, 



Rheticorum Four books, giving lessons in Rhetoric ; supposed 
C. Keren- to have been written, not by Cicero, but by one 
nium Cornificius.* l 

De Four books, giving lessons in Rhetoric, supposed to 

Inventione have been translated from the Greek. Two out of 
four have come to us.* 

De Oratore Three dialogues, in three books, supposed to have 
been held under a plane-tree, in the garden at 
Tusculum belonging to Crassus, forty years be- 
fore, in which are laid down instructions for 
the making of an orator.* 

De Republica Six political discussions, supposed to have been 
held seventy-five years before the date at which 
they were written, on the best mode of govern- 
ance. We have but a fragment of them.J 

De Legibus Three out of six books as to the best laws for 
governing the Republic. They are carried on 
between Atticus, Quintus, and Marcus. They 
are supposed to have been written B.C. 52 (actat. 
55), but were not published till after his death. t 


87, 86. 


20 & 21. 

B.C. 55. 

jEtat. 52. 

B.C. 53. 
^Etat. 54. 

B.C. 52. 
yEtat. 55. 

1 I have given here those treatises which are always printed among the 
works of Cicero. 




Those as to Rhetoric are marked * 
,, Philosophy ,, t 

,, The Moral Essays J 

De Optimo A preface to the translation of the speeches of 
Genere JSschines and of Demosthenes for and against 

Oratorum Ctesiphon ; in the matter of the Golden Crown.* 

De Partitione Instructions by questions and answers, supposed 
Oratoria to have been previously given to his son in 
Greek, on the art of speaking in public.* 

The Treatises, in which he deals with the various 
Academica phases of Philosophy taught by the Academy. 
It has been altered, and we have only a part of 
the first book of the altered portion and the. 
second part of the treatise before it was altered. 
In its altered form it is addressed to Varro.t 

De Finibus A treatise in five books, in the form of dialogues, 
Bonorum et as to the results to be looked for in inquiries as 
ilalorum. to what is good and what is evil. It is addressed 
to Brutus.t 

"Brutus, "or A treatise on the most perfect orators of past 
De Claris times. It is addressed to Brutus, and has, in 
Oratoribus a peculiar manner, been always called by his 

Orator A treatise, addressed to Brutus, to show what the 
perfect orator should be.* 

Tusciilana? Or the Tusculan Enquiries, supposed to have been 
Disputationes held with certain friends iu his Tusculan villa, 
as to contempt of Death, arid Pain, and Sorrow, 
as to conquering the Passions, and the happi- 
ness to be derived from Virtue. They are ad- 
dressed to Brutus.t 

De Natura Three books addressed to Brutus. Velleius, Bal- 
Deorum bus, and Cotta discuss the relative merits of the 
Epicurean, Stoic, and Academic Schools.f 

De Divina- He discusses with his brother Quintus the property 
tione of the gods to " divine," or rather to enable men 

to read prophecies. It is a continuation of a 
former work.t 

De Fato The part only of a bouk on De.stiny.f 





The Topica 

De Senectute 

De Amicitia 

De Officiis 

Those as to Rhetoric are marked * 
,, ,, Philosophy ,, t 
The Moral Essays ,, t 


A so-called translation from Aristotle. It is ad- 
dressed to Trebatius.* 

A treatise on Old Age, addressed to Atticus, and 
called " Cato Major." J 

A treatise on Friendship, addressed also to Atti- 
cus, and called "Lselius."t 

To his son. Treating of the Moral Duties of Life. 
Containing three books 
I. On Honesty. 
II. On Expediency. 
III. Comparing Honesty and Expediency. 

B.C. 44. 
jEtat. 63. 

B.C. 44. 
jEtat. 63. 

B.C. 44. 
A'Ant. 63. 

B.C. 44. 
JEt-di. 63. 

It is to be observed from this list that for thirty years of 
his life Cicero was silent in regard to literature, for those 
thirty years in which the best fruits of a man's exertion 
are expected from him. Indeed we may say that for the 
first fifty-two years of his life he wrote nothing but letters 
and speeches. Of the two .treatises with which the list is 
headed the first in all probability did not come from his pen, 
and the second is no more than a lad's translation from 
a Greek author. As to the work of translation it must 
be understood that the Greek and Latin languages did not 
stand in reference to each other as they do now to modern 
readers. "We translate in order that the pearls hidden under 
a foreign language may be conveyed to those who do not 
read it, and admit when we are so concerned that none can 
truly drink the fresh water from a fountain so handled. The 
Romans in translating from the Greek, thinking nothing of 
literary excellence, felt that they were bringing Greek 



thought into a form of language in which it could be thus 
made useful. There was no value for the words, but only 
for the thing to be found in it. Thence it has come that no 
acknowledgment is made. We, moderns, confess that we 
are translating and hardly assume for ourselves a third-rate 
literary place. When, on the other hand, we find the un- 
expressed thought floating about the world, we take it, 
and we make it our own when we put it into a book. The 
originality is regarded as being in the language, not in the 
thought. But to the Boman, when he found the thought 
floating about the world in the Greek character, it was 
free, for him, to adopt it and to make it his own. Cicero, 
had he done in these days with this treatise as I have 
suggested, would have been guilty of gross plagiarism, but 
there was nothing of the kind known then. This must be 
continually remembered in reading his essays. You will find 
large portions of them taken from the Greek without acknow- 
ledgment. Often it shall be. so, because it suits him to 
contradict an assertion or to show that it has been allowed 
to lead to false conclusions. This general liberty of transla- 
tion has been so frequently taken by the Latin poets, by 
Virgil and Horace let us say, as being those best known, 
that they have been regarded by some as no more than trans- 
lations. To them to have been translators of Homer, or of 
Pindar and Stesichorus, and to have put into Latin language 
ideas which were noble, was a work as worthy of praise as 
that of inventing. And it must be added that the forms they 
have used have been perfect in their kind. There has been 
no need to them for close translation. They have found the 


idea, and their object has been to present it to their readers 
in the best possible language. He who has worked amidst 
the bonds of modern translation well knows how different 
it has been with him. There is not much in the treatise 
" Do Inventione " to arrest us. We should say, from reading 
it, that the matter it contains is too good for the production 
of a youth of twenty-one, but that the language in which 
it is written is not peculiarly fine. The writer intended to 
continue it, or wrote as though he did, and therefore we 
may imagine that it has come to us from some larger source. 
It is full of standing cases, or examples of the law courts, 
which are brought up to show the way in which these things 
are handled. We can imagine that a Eoman youth should be 
practised in such matters, but we cannot imagine that the 
same youth should have thought of them all, and remembered 
them all, and should have been able to describe them. 

The following is an example. "A certain man on his 
journey encountered a traveller going to make a purchase, 
having wi^h him a sum of money. They chatted along the 
road together and, as happens on such occasions, they became 
intimate. They went to the same inn, where they supped 
and said that they would sleep together. Having supped 
they went to bed ; when the landlord for this was told after 
it had all been found out and he had been taken for another 
offence, having perceived that one man had money, in the 
middle of .the night, knowing how sound they would sleep 
from fatigue, crept up to them, and having taken out of its 
scabbard the sword of him that was without the money as it 
lay by its side, he killed the other man, put back the sword, 

X 2 


and then went to his bed. But he, whose sword had been 
used, rose long before daylight and called loudly to his 
companion. Finding that the man slumbered too heavily 
to be stirred, he took himself and his sword and the other 
things he had brought away with him and started alone. 
But the landlord soon raised the hue and cry. ' A man has 
been killed ! ' and with some of the guests followed him 
who had gone off. They took the man on the road, and 
dragged his sword out of its sheath which they found all 
bloody. They carried him back to the city, and he was 
accused." In this cause, there is the declaration of the crime 
alleged, " You killed the man." There is the defence, " I did 
not kill him." Thence arises the issue. The question to be 
judged is one of conjecture. " Did he kill him ? " l We may 
judge from the story that the case was not one which had 
occurred in life, but had been made up. The truculent 
landlord creeping in and finding that everything was as he 
wished it; and the moneyless man going off in the dark 
leaving his dead bedfellow behind him, as the landlord had 
intended that he should, form all the incidents of a stock 
piece for rehearsal rather than the occurrence of a true murder. 
The same may be said of other examples adduced, here as 
afterwards by Quintilian. They are well known cases, and 
had probably been handed down from one student to 
another. They tell us more of the manners of the people 
than of the rudiments of their law. 

From this may be seen the nature of the work. From 
thence we skip over thirty years and come at once, to B.C. 55. 

1 De Inventioue, lib. ii. 4. 


The days of the Triumvirate had come, aiid the quarrel with 
Clodius ; of Cicero's exile and his return, together with the 
speeches which he had made in the agony of his anger 
against his enemies. And all this had taken place since 
those halcyon days in which he had risen, on the voices of 
his countrymen, to be Qusestor, ^Edile, Prsetor and Consul. 
He had first succeeded as a public man, and then, having 
been found too honest, he had failed. There can be no doubt 
that he had failed, because he had been too honest. I must 
have told the story of his political life badly, if I have not 
shown that Csesar had retired from the assault because Cicero 
was Consul, but had retired only as a man does who steps 
back in order that his next spring forward may be made with 
more avail. He chose well the time for his next attack and 
Cicero was driven to decide between three things ; he must 
be Csesarean, or must be quiet, or he must go. He would not 
be Csesarean : he certainly could not be quiet, and he went. 
The immediate effect of his banishment was on him so great 
that he could not employ himself. But he returned to Eome, 
and, with too evident a reliance on a short-lived popularity, 
he endeavoured to replace himself in men's eyes. But it 
must have been clear to him that he had struggled in vain. 
Then he looked back upon his art, his oratory, and told 
himself that as the life of a man of action was no longer open 
to him he could make for himself a greater career as a man 
of letters. He could do so. He has done so. But I doubt 
whether he had ever a confirmed purpose as to the future. 
Had some grand Consular career been open to him, had it 
been given to him to do by means of the law what Cresar did 


by ignoring the law, this life of him would not have been 
written. There would at any rate have been no need of these 
last chapters to show how indomitable was the energy and 
how excellent the skill of him who could write such books, 
because he had nothing else to do. 

The " De Oratore " is a work in three divisions addressed 
to his brother Quintus in which it has undoubtedly been 
Cicero's object to convince the world that an orator's employ- 
ment is the highest of all those given to a man to follow ; 
and this he does by showing that in all the matters which 
an orator is called upon to touch there is nothing which 
he cannot adorn by the possession of some virtue or some 
knowledge. To us, in these days, he seems to put the cart 
before the horse, and to fail from the very beginning by reason 
of the fact that the orator in his eloquence need never tell 
the truth. It is in the power of man so to praise, constancy, 
let us say, as to make it appear of all things the best. But 
he who sings the praise of it may be the most inconstant of 
mankind and may know that he is deceiving his hearers, as 
to his own opinions, at any rate as to his own practice. 
The virtue should come first, and then the speech respecting 
it. Cicero seems to imply that if the speech be there, the 
virtue may be assumed. 

But it has to be acknowledged, in this and in all his 
discourses as to the perfect orator, that it is here as it has 
been in all the inquirers after the TO rca\6v. 1 We must 

1 Quintilian in his Proajmiuin or Preface. "Oratorem autem instituimus 
ilium perfectum, qui esse nisi vir bonus non potest." It seems as though 


recognise the fact that the Eomans have adopted a form of 
inquiry from the Greeks, and, having described a more than 
human perfection, have instigated men to work up towards 
it by letting it be known how high will be the excellence 
should it ever be attained. It is so in the " De Oratore," as 
to which we must begin by believing that the speech-maker 
wanted is a man not to be found in any House of Commons. 
No Conservative and no Liberal need fear that he will be put 
out of court by the coining of this perfectly eloquent man. 
But this Cicero of whom we are speaking has been he who 
has been most often quoted for his perfections. 1 The running 
after an impossible hero throws a damp over the whole search. 
When no one can expect to find the thing sought for who 
can seek diligently ? By degrees the ambitious student 
becomes aware that it is impossible, and is then carried on 
by a desire to see how he is to win a second or a third place, 
if so much may be accorded to him. In his inquiries he 
will find that the Cicero, if he look to Quintilian or 

there had almost been the question whether the perfect orator could exist, 
although there was no question he had never done so as yet. 

1 Quint, lib. iii. 1. " Praecipuum vero lumen sicut eloquent!*, ita prseceptis 
quoque ejus, dedit unicum apud nos specimen orandi, docendique oratories 
artes, M. Tullius." And in Tacitus, De Oratoribus xxx., " Ita ex multa eru- 
ditione, ex pluribus artibus," he says, speaking of Cicero, "et omnium rerum 
scientia exundat, et exuberat ilia admirabilis eloquentia ; neque oratoris vis 
et facultas, sicut ceterarum rerum, angustis et brevibus terminis cluditur ; 
sed is est orator, qui de omni qusestioue pulchre, et ornate, et ad persuaden- 
dum apte dicere, pro dignitate rerum, ad utilitatem temporum, cum volup- 
tate audientium possit." This has not the ring of Tacitus, but it shows 
equally well the opinion of the day. 


Tacitus, or the Crassus if lie look to Cicero, is so set before 
him as the true model ; and with that he may be content. 

The' " De Oratore " is by far the longest of his works on 
rhetoric, and, as I think, the pleasantest to read. It was 
followed after ten years by the " Brutus " or " De Claris 
Oratoribus," and then by the " Orator. " But in all of 
them he charms us rather by his example than instructs 
us by his precepts. He will never make us believe, for 
instance, that a man who talks well will on that account 
be better than a man who thinks well ; but he does make us 
believe that a man who talks as Cicero knew how to do, 
must have been well worth hearing, and also that to read 
his words, when listening to them is no longer possible, is a 
great delight. Having done that he has no doubt carried his 
object. He was too much a man of the world to have an 
impracticable theory on which to expend himself. Oratory 
had come uppermost with him, and had indeed made itself 
with the Romans the only pursuit to be held in rivalry 
with that of fighting. Literature had not as yet assumed its 
place. It needed Cicero himself to do that for her. It 
required the writing of such an essay as this to show by 
the fact of its existence, that Cicero the writer stood quite 
as high as Cicero the orator. And then the written words 
remain when the sounds have died away. We believe that 
Cicero spoke divinely. We can form for ourselves some idea 
of the rhythm of his periods. Of the words in which Cicero 
spoke of himself as a speaker we have the entire charm. 

Boccaccio when he takes his queen into a grassy meadow 
and seats her in the midst of her ladies, and makes her and 


them and their admirers tell their stories, seems to have given 
rise to the ideas which Cicero has used when introducing his 
Roman orators, lying under a plane-tree in the garden at 
Tusculum and there discussing rhetoric ; so much nearer 
to us appear the times of Cicero, with all the light that 
has been thrown upon them by their own importance, than 
does the middle of the fourteenth century in the same 
country. But the practice in this as in all matters of social 
life, was borrowed from the Greeks, or perhaps rather the 
pretence of the practice. We can hardly believe that Romans 
of an advanced age would so have arranged themselves for 
the sake of conversation. It was a manner of bringing men 
together which had its attraction for the mind's eye; and 
Cicero, whose keen imagination represented to him the 
pleasantness of the picture, has used the form of narrative 
with great effect. He causes Crassus and Antony to meet 
in the garden of Crassus at Tusculum, and thither he brings, 
on the first day, old Mucius Scasvola the Augur, and Sulpi- 
cius and Gotta, two rising orators of the period. On the 
second day Scsevola is supposed to be too fatigued to renew 
the intellectual contest, and he retires ; but one Caesar comes 
in with Quintus Lutatius Catulus, and the conversation is 
renewed. Crassus and Antony carry it on in chief, but 
Crassus has the leading voice. Caesar, who must have been 
the wag among barristers of his day, undertakes to give 
examples of that Attic salt by which the profundity of the 
Law Courts is supposed to have been relieved. The third 
conversation takes place on the afternoon of the second day, 
when they had refreshed themselves with sleep; though 


Crassus, we are specially told, had given himself up to the 
charms of no midday siesta. His mind had been full of 
the greatness of the task before him, but he will show 
neither fatigue nor anxiety. The art, the apparent ease 
with which it js all done, the grace without languor, the 
energy without exertion, are admirable. It is as though 
they were sitting by running water, or listening to the 
music of some grand organ. They remove themselves to 
a wood a little further from the house, and there they listen 
to the eloquence of Crassus. Cotta and Sulpicius only hear 
and assent, or imply a modified dissent in doubting words. 

It is Crassus who insists that the orator shall be omni- 
scient, and Antony who is supposed to contest the point with 
him. But they differ in the sweetest language, and each, 
though he holds his own, does it with a deference that is more 
convincing than any assertion. It may be as well, perhaps, 
to let it be understood that Crassus and Csesar are only 
related by distant family ties, or perhaps, only by ties of 
adoption, to the two of the first Triumvirate whose names 
they bear ; whereas Antony . was the grandfather of that 
Cleopatra's lover against whom the Philippics were hurled. 

No one, as I have said before, will read these conversations 
for the sake of the argument they contain ; but they are 
and will be studied as containing in the most appropriate 
language a thousand sayings respecting the art of speech. 
" No power of speaking well can belong to any but to him 
who knows the subjects on which he has to speak ;" l a fact 

1 De Oratore, lib. i. ca. xi. 


which seems so clear that no one need be troubled with 
stating it, were it not that men sin against it every day. 
" How great the undertaking to put yourself forward among 
a crowd of men as being the fittest of all there to be heard 
on some great subject ! " l " Though all men shall gnash 
their teeth, I will declare that the little book of the twelve 
tables surpasses in authority and usefulness all the treatises 
of all the philosophers." 2 Here speaks the Cicero of the 
Forum, and not that Cicero who amused himself among the 
philosophers. " Let him keep his books of philosophy for 
some Tusculum idleness such as is this of ours ; lest when 
he shall have to speak of justice he must go to Plato and 
borrow from him, who when he had to express him in these 
things created in his books some new Utopia." 3 For, in 
truth, though Cicero deals much, as we shall see by and by, 
with the philosophers, and has written whole treatises for 
the sake of bringing Greek modes of thought among the 
Eornans, he loved the affairs of the world too well to trust 
them to philosophy. There has been some talk of old age, 
and Antony, before the evening has come, declares his view. 
" So far do I differ from you," he says, " that not only do I 
not think that any relief in age is to be found in the crowd 
of them who may come to me for advice, but I look to its 
solitude as a harbour. You indeed may fear it, but to me it 
will be most welcome." 4 

Then Cicero begins the second book with a renewal of the 
assertion as to oratory generally, not putting the words into 

1 De Oratore, ca. xxv. 2 Ibid, ca. xliv. 

3 Ibid. ca. lii. 4 Ibid. lib. i. ca, lx. 


the mouth of any of his party, but declaring it as his owii 
belief. "This is the purpose of this present treatise, and 
of the present time, to declare that no one has been able 
to excel in eloquence, not merely without capacity for speak- 
ing, but also without acquired knowledge of all kinds." 1 
But Antony professes himself of another opinion. "How 
can that be when Crassus and I often plead opposite causes, 
and when one of us can only say the truth ? Or how can 
it be possible when each of us must take the cause as it 
comes to him ? " 2 Then again he bursts into praise of the 
historian, as though in opposition to Crassus. " How worthy 
of an orator's eulogy is the writing of history, whether 
greatest in the flood of its narrative or in its variety. I do 
not know that we have ever treated it separately, but it is 
there always before our eyes. Tor who does not know that 
the first law of the historian is that he must not dare to 
say what is false : the next that he must not dare to 
suppress what is true." 3 We wonder when Cicero was 
writing this whether he remembered his request to Lucceius 
made now two years ago. He gives a piece of advice to 
young advocates, apologising indeed for thinking it necessary ; 
but he has found it to be necessary, and he gives it. 
" Let me teach this to them all ; when they intend to 
plead, let them first study their causes." 4 It is not only 
here that we find that the advice which is useful now 
was wanted then. " Eead your cases ! " The admonition 
was wanted in Rome as it has been since in London. 

1 De Oratoro, lib. ii. ca. i. - Ibid. lib. ii. ca. vii. 

3 Jbid. lib. ii. ca. xv. * Ibid. lib. ii. ca. xxiv. 


But the great mistake of the whole doctrine creeps out at 
every page as we go on, and disproves the idea on which the 
" De Oratore " is founded. All Cicero's treatises on the sub- 
ject, and Quintilian's, and those of the pseudo-Tacitus, and of 
the first Greek from which they have come, fall to the ground 
as soon as we are told that it must be the purport of the 
orator to turn the mind of those who hear him either to the 
right or to the left, in accordance with the drift of the cause. 1 
The mind rejects the idea that it can be the part of a perfect 
man to make another believe that which he believes to be 
false. If it be necessary that an orator should do so, then 
must the orator be imperfect. We have the same lesson 
taught throughout. It is the great gift of the orator, says 
Antony, to turn the judge's mind so that he shall hate or 
love, shall fear or hope, shall rejoice or grieve, or desire to 
pity or desire to punish. 2 No doubt it is a great power. 
All that is said as to eloquence is true. It may be necessary 
that to obtain the use of it you shall educate yourself with 
more precision than for any other purpose. But there will 
be the danger that they who have fitted the dagger to the 
hand will use it. It cannot be right to make another man 
believe that which you think to be false. 

In the use of raillery in eloquence the Eoman seems to 
have been very backward ; so much so that it is only by the 
examples given of it by themselves as examples that we learn 

1 De Oratore, lib. ii. ca. xxvii. " At probemus vera esse ea, quse defendimus ; 
utconciliemus nobis eos, qui audient ; ut anirnos eorum, ad quemcumque causa 
postulabit motum, vocemus." 

* Ibid. lib. ii. ca. xliv. 


that it existed. They can appal us by the cruelty which they 
denounce. They can melt us by their appeals to our pity. 
They can terrify, they can horrify ; they can fill us with fear 
or hope, with anger, with despair, or with rage ; but they 
cannot cause us to laugh. Their attempts at a joke amuse 
us because we recognise the attempt. Here Caesar is put 
forward to give us the benefit of his wit. We are lost in 
surprise when we find how miserable are his jokes, and take 
a pride in finding that in one line we are the masters of the 
Eomans. I will give an instance, and I pick it out as the 
best among those selected by Cicero. Nasica goes to call 
upon Ennius and is informed by the maid-servant that her 
master is not at home. Ennius returns the visit, and Nasica 
halloes out from the window that he is not within. " Not 
within," says Ennius. " Don't I know your voice ? " Upon 
which Nasica replies, " You are an impudent fellow. I had 
the grace to believe your maid ; and now you will not believe 
me myself." * How this got into a law case we do not know ; 
it is told, however, just as I have told it. But there are 
enough of them here to make a small Joe Miller ; and yet, 
in the midst of language that is almost divine in its 
expressions, they are given as having been worthy of all 

The third book is commenced by the finest passage in 
the whole treatise. Cicero remembers that Crassus is dead, 
and then tells the story of his death. And Antony is dead, 
and the Caesars. The three last had fallen in the Marian 

1 De Oratore, lib. ii. ca. Ixviii. 


massacres. There is but little now in the circumstances of 
their death to excite our tears. Who knows ought of that 
Crassus, or of that Antony, or of those Caesars ? But Cicero 
so tells it in his pretended narrative as almost to make us 
weep. The day was coming when a greater than either of 
them was to die the same death as Antony, by the order of 
another Antony ; to have his tongue pierced, and his bloody 
head thrust aloft upon the rostra. But no Eoman has dared 
to tell us of it, as Cicero has told the story of those others. 
Augustus had done his work too well, and it was much 
during his reign that Bomans who could make themselves 
heard should dare to hold their tongues. 

It would be useless in me here to attempt to give any 
notion of the laws as to speech which Cicero lays down. For 
myself I do not take them as laws, feeling that the interval 
of time has been too great to permit laws to remain as such. 
No orator could, I feel sure, form himself on Cicero's ideas. 
But the sweetness of the language is so great as to convince 
us that he at any rate knew how to use language as no one 
has done since. " But there is a building up of words, and 
a turning of them round, and a nice rendering. There is the 
opposing and the loosening. There is the avoiding, the 
holding back, the sudden exclamation, and the dropping of 
the voice. And the taking an argument from the case at 
large and bringing it to bear on a single point ; and the 
proof and the propositions together. And there is the leave 
given ; and then a doubting, and an expression of surprise. 
There is the counting up, the setting right ; the utter 
destruction, the continuation, the breaking off, the pretence, 


the answer made to oneself, the change of names, the dis- 
joining and rejoining of things, the relation, the retreat, and 
the curtailing." 1 Who can translate all these things when 
Quintilian himself has been fain to acknowledge that he 
has attempted and has failed to handle them in fitting 
language ? 

And then at last there comes that most lovely end to these 
most charming discourses ! " His autem de rebus sol me 
ille admonuit, ut brevior essem, qui ipse jam prsecipitans, 
me quoque hac praecipitem paene evolvere coegit." 2 These 
words are so charming in their rhythm that I will not rob 
them of their beauty by a translation. The setting sun 
requires me also to go to rest. That is their simple meaning. 
At the end of the book he introduces a compliment to 
Hortensius, who during his life had been his great rival and 
who was still living when the " De Oratore " was written. 

The next on the list is the " De Optimo Genere Oratorum," 
BC 52 a P re li nnnarv treatise written as a preface to 
setat. 55. a translation made by himself on the speeches 
of -ZEschines and Demosthenes against Ctesiphon in the 
matter of the Golden Crown. We have not the translations ; 
but we have his reasons for translating them, namely, that 
he might enable readers only of Latin to judge how far 
^Eschines and Demosthenes had deserved, either of them, the 
title of' " Optimus orator." For they had spoken against each 
other with the most bitter abuse, and each spokesman was 
struggling for the suppression of the other. Each was 

1 De Oratore, lilt. iii. liv. * Ibid. lib. iii. ca. Iv. 


speaking with the knowledge that if vanquished, he would 
have to pay heavily in his person and his pocket. He gives the 
palm to neither ; but he tells his readers that the Attic mode 
of speaking is gone, of which, indeed, the glory is known, 
but the nature unknown. But he explains that he has not 
translated the two pieces verbatim as an interpreter, but 
in the spirit, as an orator, using the same figures, the same 
forms, the same strength of ideas. We have to acknowledge 
that we do not see how in this way he can have done 
aught towards answering the question " Pe Optimo Genere 
Oratorum " ; but he may perhaps have done something to 
prove that he himself, in his oratory, had preserved the best 
known Grecian forms. 

The "De Partitione Oratoria Dialogus" follows, of which 
we have already spoken, written when he was an old man, 
and was in the sixty-first year of his life. It was the year 
iii which he had divorced Terentia and had been made 
thoroughly wretched in private and in public affairs. But 
he was not on that account disabled from preparing for his 
son these instructions, in the form of questions and answers, 
on the art of speaking. 

We next come to the " Brutus," or "De Claris Oratoribus," 
a dialogue supposed to have been held between Brutus, 
Atticus, and Cicero himself. It is a continuation of the 
three books " De Oratore." He there describes what is 
essential to the character of the " Optimus Orator." He 
here looks after the special man, going back over the 
results of past ages, and bringing before the reader's eyes 
all Greek and Eoman orators, till he comes down to Cicero. I 

VOL. II. Y ' 


cannot but say that the feeling is left with the reader that the 
" Orator Optinms " has been reached at last in Cicero's mind. 
We must remark in the first place that he has chosen 
for his friend to whom to address his piece one whom he 
has only known late in life. It was when he went to Cilicia 
as Governor, when he was fifty-six years old, that he was 
thrown by Atticus into close relations with Brutus. Now 
he has, next to Atticus, become his most chosen friend. His 
three next treatises, the "Orator," the " Tusculan Disquisi- 
tions," and the "De Natura Deorum," have all been graced, 
or intended to be graced, by the name of Brutus. And yet, 
from what we know, we can hardly imagine two men 
less likely to be brought together by their political ambi- 
tion. The one compromising, putting up with the bad rather 
than with a worse, knowing that things were evil and 
contented to accept those that were the least so; the other 
strict, uncompromising, and one who had learned lessons 
which had taught him that there Was no choice among things 
that were bad ! And Brutus, too, had told Cicero that his 
lessons in oratory were not to his taste. There was a some- 
thing about Cicero which enabled him to endure such rebukes 
while there was aught worthy of praise in the man who 
rebuked him ; and it was to this something that his devotion 
was paid. We know that Brutus was rapacious after money 
with all the greed of a Roman nobleman, and we know also 
that Cicero was not. Cicero could keep his hands clean with 
thousands around him, and with thousands going into the 
pockets of other men. He could see the vice of Brutus, but 
he did not hate it. He must have borne, too, with something 


from Atticus of the same kind. The truth seems to me that 
to Cicero there was no horror as to greediness, except to 
greed in himself. He could hate it for himself, and yet 
tolerate it in others, as a man may card-playing, or rackets, 
or the turf. But he must have known that Brutus had made 
himself the owner of all good gifts in learning, and took him 
to his heart in consequence. In no other way can I explain 
to myself the feeling of subservience to Brutus which Cicero 
so generally expresses. It exists in none other of his relations 
of life. Political subservience there is to Pompey ; but he 
can laugh at Pompey, and did not dedicate to him his treatises 
" De Eepublica," or " De Legibus." To Appius Claudius he was 
very courteous. He thought badly of Appius, but hardly 
worse than he ought to have done of Brutus. Of Cselius 
he was fond, of Curio, of Trebatius. To Paetus he was 
attached, to Sulpicius and Marcellus. But to none of them 
did he ever show that deference which he did to Brutus. I 
could have understood this feeling as evinced in the political 
letters at the end of his life, and have explained it to myself 
by saying "that the "ipsissima verba" have not probably come 
to us. But I cannot say that the name of Brutus does not 
stand there, written in imperishable letters, on the title-pages 
of his most chosen pieces. If this be so Brutus has owed 
more to his learning than the respect of Cicero. All ages 
since have felt it, and Shakespeare has told us that " Brutus 
is an honourable man." 

There is a dispute as to the period of the authorship of this 
treatise. Cicero in it tells us of Cato, and of Marcellus, and 
therefore we must suppose that it was written when they 

Y 2 


were alive. Indeed he so compares Caesar and Marcellus as 
he could not have done had they not both been alive. But 
Cato and Marcellus died B.C. 46, and how then could the 
treatise have been written in B.C. 45 ? It should, however, 
be remembered that a written paper may be altered and re- 
written, and that the date of authorship and that of publica- 
tion cannot be exactly the same. But the time is of but little 
matter to those who can take delight in the discourse. He 
begins by telling us how he had grieved when on his return 
from Cilicia he had heard that Hortensius was dead. Hor- 
tensius had brought him into the college of Augurs, and had 
there stood to him in the place of a parent. And he had 
lamented Hortensius also on behalf of Eome. Hortensius 
had gone. Then he goes on to say that as he was thinking of 
these things while walking in his portico, Brutus had come 
to him and Pomponius Atticus. He says how pleasantly 
they greeted each other, and then gradually they go on, till 
Atticus asks him to renew the story he had before been telling. 
" In truth, Pomponius," he says, " I remember it right well, 
for then it was that I heard Deiotarus, that truest and best 
of kings, defended by our Brutus here." Deiotarus was that 
Eastern king, whose defence by Cicero himself I have men- 
tioned when speaking of his pleadings before Caesar. Then 
he rushes off into his subject, and discusses at length his 
favourite idea. It must still be remembered that neither 
here are to be traced any positive line of lessons in oratory. 
There is no beginning, no middle, and no end to this treatise. 
Cicero runs on, charming us rather by his language than by his 
lessons. He says of eloquence that " she is the companion 


of peace, and the associate of ease." 1 He tells us of Cato, 
that he had read a hundred and fifty of his speeches and 
had "found them all replete with bright words and with 
great matter ; " " and yet no one in his days read Cato's 
speeches!" 2 This of couise was Cato the elder. Then we hear 
how Demosthenes said that in oratory action was everything. 
It was the first thing, the second, and the third. " For there 
is nothing like it to penetrate into the minds of the audience, 
to teach them, to turn them, and to form them till the 
orator shall be made to appear exactly that which he wishes 
to be thought." 3 " The man who listens to one who is an 
orator, believes what he hears. He thinks everything 
to be true, he approves of all." 4 No doubt ! In his power 
of describing the orator and his work Cicero is perfect ; 
but he does not describe the man doing that which he is 
bound to do by his duty. 

He tells us that nothing is worse than half a dozen ad- 
vocates, which certainly is true. 5 Further on he comes to 
Csesar, and praises him very highly. But here Brutus is 
made to speak, and tells us, how he has read the commentaries 
and found them to be " bare in their beauty, perfect in sym- 
metry, but unadorned, and deprived of all outside garniture." 6 
They are all that he has told us, nor could they have been 
described in truer words. Then he names Hortensius and 
speaks of him in language which is graceful and graphic, 
but he reserves his greatest strength for himself, and at last, 

1 Brutus, ca. xii. - Ibid, ca. xvii. 3 Ibid. ca. ^xxviii. 

4 Ibid. ca. 1. 6 Ibid. ca. Ivii. 6 Ibid. ca. Ixxv. 


declaring that he will say nothing in his own praise, bursts out 
into a string of eulogy, which he is able to conceal beneath 
dubious phrases, so as to show that he himself has acquired 
such a mastery over his art as to have made himself in truth 
the best orator of them all. 1 

Perhaps the chief charm of this essay is to be found in 
the lightness of the touch. It is never heavy, never severe, 
rarely melancholic. If read without reference to other works 
it would leave on the reader's mind the impression that 
though now and again there had come upon him the memory 
of a friend who had gone and some remembrance of changes in 
the State to which as an old man he could not give his assent, 
nevertheless it was written by a happy man, by one who was 
contented among his books, and was pleased to be reminded 
that things had gone well with him. He writes throughout 
as one who had no great sorrow at his heart. No one would 
have thought that in this very year he was perplexed in his 
private affairs, even to the putting away of his wife ; that 
Csesar had made good his ground, and, having been Dictator 
last year, had for the third time become Consul ; that he 
knew himself to be living, as a favour, by Csesar's pleasure. 
Cicero seems to have written his Brutus as one might write 
who was well at ease. Let a man have taught himself aught 
and have acquired the love of letters, it is easy for him then 
we might say, to carry on his work. What is it to him that 
politicians are cutting each other's throats around him. He 
has not gone into that arena and fought and bled there, 

1 Ibid. ca. xciii. 


nor need he do so. Though things may have gone contrary 
to his views he has no cause for anger, none for personal dis- 
appointment, none for personal shame. But with Cicero, on 
every morning as he rose, he must have remembered Pompey 
and have thought of Csesar. And though Caesar was 
courteous to him, the courtesy of a ruler is hard to be borne 
by him who himself has ruled. Caesar was Consul, and 
Cicero, who remembered how majestically he had walked 
when a few years since he was Consul by the real votes of 
the people, how he had been applauded for doing his duty to 
the people, how he had been punished for stretching the laws 
on the people's behalf, how he had refused everything for the 
people, must have had bitter feelings in his heart when he 
sat down to write this conversation with Brutus and with 
Atticus. Yet it has all the cheerfulness which might have 
been expected from a happy mind. But we must remark 
that at its close, in its very final words, he does allude 
with sad melancholy to the state of affairs, and that then it 
breaks off abruptly. Even in the middle of a sentence it is 
brought to a close, and the reader is left to imagine that some- 
thing has been lost, or that more might have been added. 

The last of these works is the " Orator." We have passed 
in review the " De Oratore." and the " Brutus " or " De Claris 
Oratoribus." We have now to consider that which is com- 
monly believed to be the most finished piece of the three. 
Such seems to have become the general idea of those scholars 
who have spoken and written on the subject. He himself 
says that there are in all five books. There are the three " De 
Oratore.'' The fourth is called " The Brutus," and the fifth 

328 LIFE OF 

" The Orator." l In some MS. this work has a second title, 
"De Optimo Genere Dicendi," as though the five books 
should run on in a sequence, the three first being on oratory 
in general, the fourth as to famous orators, while the last con- 
cluding work is on the best mode of oratory. Eeaders who 
may wish to carry these in their minds, must exclude for the 
moment from their memory the few pages which he wrote as 
a preface to the translations from ./Eschines and Demosthenes. 
The purport is to show how may that hitherto unknown hero 
of romance be produced, the perfect orator. 

Here as elsetvhere we shall find the greatest interest lies in 
a certain discursive treatment of his subject which enables him 
to run hither and thither, while he always pleases us, whatever 
attitude he may assume, whatever he may say, and in what- 
ever guise he may speak to us. But here, in the last book, 
there does seem to be some kind of method in his discourse. 
He distinguishes three styles of eloquence, the simple, the 
moderate, and the sublime, and explains that the orator has 
three duties to perform. He must learn what on any subject 
he has to say, he must place his arguments in order, and he 
must know how to express them. He explains what action 
should achieve for the orator, and teaches that eloquence 
depends wholly on elocution. He tells us .that the philo- 
sophers, the historians, and the poets have never risen to his 
ideas of eloquence; but that he alone does so who can, 
amidst the heat and work of the Forum, turn men's minds 
as he wishes. Then he teaches us how each of the three 

1 D6 Divinatioue, lib. ii. 1. 


styles should be treated, the simple, the moderate, and the 
sublime, and shows us how to vary them. He informs us 
what laws we should preserve in each, what ornaments, what 
form, and what metaphors. He then considers the words 
we should use, and makes us understand how necessary 
it is to attend to the minutest variety of sound. In this 
matter we have to acknowledge that he, as a Eoman, had 
to deal with instruments for listening infinitely finer than 
are our British ears ; and I am not sure that we can follow 
him with rapture into all the mysteries of the Pceon, the 
Dochmius, and the Dichoreus. What he says of rhythm we 
are willing to take to be true, and we wonder at the elaborate 
study given to it ; but I doubt whether we here do not read 
of it as a thing beyond us, by descending into which we 
should be removing ourselves further from the more whole- 
some pursuits of our lives. 

There are again delightful morsels here. He tells us for 
instance, that he who has created a beautiful thing must 
have beauty in his soul, 1 a charming idea as to which we 
do not stop to inquire whether it be true or not. He gives 
us a most excellent caution against storing up good sayings, 
and using them from the storehouse of our memory. " Let 
him avoid these studied things, not made at the moment, 
but brought from the closet." 2 Then he rises into a grand 
description of the perfect orator. " But that third man is 
he, rich abundant, dignified and instructed, in whom there 
is a divine strength. This is he whose fulness and culture 

1 Orator, ca. ii. * Ibid. ca. xxvi. 


of speech the nations have admired, and Whose eloquence has 
been allowed to prevail over the people." l " Then will the 
orator make himself felt more abundantly. Then will he 
rule their minds and turn their hearts. Then will he do 
with them as he would wish." 2 

But in the teeth of all this it did not please Brutus 
himself. " When I wrote to him," he said to Atticus, " in 
obedience to his wishes 'de optimo genere dicendi' he sent 
word, both to you and me, that that which pleased me did 
not satisfy him." 3 " Let every man kiss his own wife," says 
Cicero in his letter in the next words to those we have 
quoted; and we cannot but love the man for being able 
to joke when he is telling of the rebuff he has received. 
It must have been an additional pang to him, that he 
for whom he had written his book should receive it with 
stern rebuke. 

At last we come to the " Topica," the last instructions 
which Cicero gives on the subject of oratory. The Eomans 
seern to have esteemed much the lessons which are here 
conveyed ; but for us it has but little attraction. He 
himself declares it to have been a translation from Aristotle, 
but declares also that the translation has been made from 
memory. He has been at sea, he says, in the first chapter, 
and has there performed his task and has sent it as soon 
as it has been done. There is something in this which is 
unintelligible to us. He has translated a treatise of Aristotle 

1 Ibid. ca. xxviii. 

8 Ibid. ca. xxxvi. Here his language becomes very line. 

a -\<1. Alt. lib. xiv. 20. 


from memory, that is without having the original before 
him, and has done this at sea on his intended journey to 
Greece ! l I do not believe that Cicero has been false in 
so writing. The work has been done for his young friend 
Trebatius, who had often asked it and was much too clever 
when he had received it not to recognise its worth. But 
Cicero has, in accordance with his memory, reduced to his 
own form Aristotle's idea as to "invention" in logic. 
Aristotle's work is, I am informed, in eight books. Here is 
a bagatelle in twenty-five pages. There is an audacity 
in the performance, especially in the doing it on board 
ship ; but we must remember that he had spent his life in 
achieving a knowledge of these things, and was able to 
write down with all the rapidity of a practised professor 
the doctrines on the matter which he wished to teach 

This later essay is a recapitulation of the different sources 
to which an orator, whether as lawyer, advocate, philosopher 
or statesman, may look for his arguments. That they should 
have been of any great use to Trebatius in the course of his 
long life as Attorney-General about the court of Augustus 
I cannot believe. I do not know that he rose to special 
mark as an orator, though he was well known as a 
counsellor ; nor do I think that oratory, or the powers of 
persuasion, can be so brought to book as to be made to 
submit itself to formal rules. And here they are given to 

1 Topia, cap. 1. "Itaque hac quum mecum libros non liaberem, memoria 
repetita, in ipsa navigations conscripsi, tibique ex itinere misi." 


us in the form of a catalogue. It is for modern readers 
perhaps the least interesting of all Cicero's works. 

There is left upon us after reading these treatises a general 
idea of the immense amount of attention which, in the Roman 
educated world, was paid to the science of speaking. To 
bring his arguments to bear at the proper moment, to catch 
the ideas that are likely to be rising in the minds of men, to 
know when the sympathies may be expected and when 
demanded, when the feelings may be trusted and when they 
have been too blunted to be of service, to perceive from an 
instinctive outlook into those before him when he may be 
soft, when hard, when obdurate and when melting, this 
was the business of a Eoman orator. And this was to be 
achieved only by a careful study of the characters of men. 
It depended in no wise on virtue, on morals, or on truth, 
though very much on education. How he might please 
the multitude ; this was everything to him. It was all 
in all to him to do just that which here in our prosaic world 
in London we have been told that men ought not to attempt. 
They do attempt it; but they fail, through the innate 
honesty which there is in the hearts of men. In Italy, in 
Cicero's time, they attempted it and did not fail. But we 
can see what were the results. 

The attention which Eoman orators paid to their voices 
was as serious, and demanded the same restraint, as the 
occupations of the present athlete. We are inclined to doubt 
whether too much of life is not devoted to the purpose. 
It could not be done but by a people so greedy of the 
admiration as to feel that all other things should be 


abandoned by those who desire to excel. The actor of 
to-day will do it, but it is his business to act, and if he 
so applies himself to his profession as to succeed, he has 
achieved his object. But oratory in the law court, as in 
Parliament, or in addressing the public, is only the means of 
imbuing the minds of others with the ideas which the speaker 
wishes to implant there. To have those ideas, and to have the 
desire to teach them to others, is more to him than the power 
of well expressing them. To know the law is better than to 
talk of knowing it. But with the Eomans so great was the 
desire to shine that the reality was lost in its appearance. 
And so prone were the people to indulge in the delight of 
their senses that they would sacrifice a thing for a sound, 
and preferred lies in perfect language to truth in halting 
syllables. This feeling had sunk deep into Cicero's heart 
when he was a youth and has given to his character the 
only stain which it has. He would be patriotic. To love 
his country was the first duty of a Roman. He would be 
honest. So much was indispensable to his personal dignity. 
But he must so charm his countrymen with his voice as to 
make them feel while they listened to him that some god 
addressed them. In this way he became permeated by the love 
of praise, till it was death to him not to be before the lamps. 
The " perfect orator " is we may say, a person neither 
desired nor desirable. We, who are the multitude of the 
world and have been born to hold our tongues and use 
our brains, would not put up with him were he to show 
himself. But it was not so in Cicero's time. And this was 
the way he took to sing the praises of his own profession and 


to magnify his own glory. He speaks of that profession in 
language so excellent as to make us who read his words 
believe that there was more in it than it did in truth hold. 
But there was much in it, and, the more so, as the performers 
re-acted upon their audience. The delicacy of the powers of 
expression had become so great, that the powers of listen- 
ing and distinguishing had become great also. As the instru- 
ments became fine so did the ears which were to receive their 
music. Cicero, and Quintilian after him, tell us this. The 
latter in speaking of the nature of the voice gives us a string 
of epithets which it would be hopeless to attempt to translate. 
" Nam est et Candida, et fusca, et plena, et exilis, et levis, et 
aspera, et contracta, et fusa, et dura, et flexibilis, et clara, et 
obtusa ; spiritus etiam longior, breviorque." l And the 
remarkable thing was, that every Roman who listened would 
understand what the orator intended, and would know too, 
and would tell him of it, if by error he had fallen into some 
cadence which was not exactly right. To the modes of 
raising the voice, which are usually divided into three, the 
high or treble, the low or bass, and that which is between 
the two, the contralto and tenor, many others are added. 
There are the eager and the soft, the higher and the lower 
notes, the quicker and the slower. It seems little to us who 
know that we can speak or whisper, hammer our words 
together, or drawl them out. But then every listener was 
critically alive to the fact whether the speaker before him 
did or did not perform his task as it should be done. No 

1 Quint, lib. xi 3. The translations of these epithets are "open, obscure, 
full, thin, light, rough, shortened, lengthened, harsh, pliable, clear, clouded. 


wonder that Cicero demanded who was the " Optimus 
Orator." Then the strength of body had to be matured, 
lest the voice should fall to " a sick, womanly weakness, 
like that of an eunuch." This must be provided by exercise, 
by anointing, by continence, by the easy digestion of the food 
which means moderation; and the jaws must be free, so 
that the words must not strike each other. And as to the 
action of the orator Cicero tells us that it should speak as 
loudly and as plainly as do the words themselves. In all 
this we find that Quintilian only follows his master too 
closely. The hands, the shoulders, the sides, the stamping 
of the foot, the single step or many steps,- every motion 
of the body agreeing with the words from his mouth are 
all described. 1 He attributes this to Antony, but only 
because, as he thinks of it, some movement of Antony's 
has recurred to his memory. 

To make the men who heard him believe in him was the 
one gift which Cicero valued ; not to make them know him 
to be true, but to believe him to be so. This it was in 
Cicero's time to be the " Optimus Orator." 

Since Cicero's time there has been some progress in the 
general conduct of men. They are less greedy, less cruel, 
less selfish, greedy, cruel and selfish though they still are. 
The progress which the best among us have made Cicero in 
fact achieved. But he had not acquired that theoretic 
aversion to a lie which is the first feeling in the bosom of 
a modern gentleman. Therefore it was that he still busied 
himself with finding the " Optimus Orator." 
1 Brutus, ca. xxxviii. 



IT will have been observed that in the list given in the 
previous chapter the works commonly published as Cicero's 
philosophy have been divided. Some are called his Philo- 
sophy and some his Moral Essays. It seems to be absurd to 
put forward to the world his Tusculan Enquiries, written with 
the declared object of showing that death and pain were not 
evils, together with a moral essay, such as that "De Officiis," 
in which he tells us what it may become a man of the world 
to do. It is as though we bound up Lord Chesterfield's 
letters in a volume with Hume's essays, and called them 
the philosophy of the eighteenth century. It might be true, 
but it would certainly be absurd. There might be those 
who regard the letters as philosophical, and those who 
would so speak of the essays ; but their meaning would be 
diametrically opposite. It is so with Cicero, whose treatises 
have been lumped together under this name with the view 
of bringing them under one appellation. It had been found 
necessary to divide his works and to describe them. The 
happy man who first thought to put the " De Natura Deorum " 
and the " De Amicitia " into boards together, and to present 
them to the world under the name of his philosophy, 


peihaps found the only title that could unite the two. But 
he has done very much to mislead the world, and to teach 
readers to believe that Cicero was in truth one who en- 
deavoured to live in accordance with the doctrine of any 
special school of philosophy. 

He was too honest, too wise, too civilised, too modern for 
that. He knew, no one better, that the pleasure of the. 
world was pleasant, and that the ills are the reverse. When 
his wife betrayed him he grieved. When his daughter died, 
he sorrowed. When his foe was strong against him, he 
hated him. He avoided pain when it came near him, and. 
did his best to have everything comfortable around him. 
He was so far an Epicurean, as we all are. He did not 
despise death, or pain, or grief. He was a modern-minded 
man, if I make myself understood, of robust tendencies 
moral, healthy, and enduring. But he was anything but 
a philosopher in his life. Let us remember the way 
in which he laughs at the idea of bringing philosophy 
into real life in the "De Oratore." He is speaking of 
the manner in which the lawyers would have had to 
behave themselves in the law courts if philosophy had 
been allowed to prevail. " No man could have grieved 
aloud. No patron would have wept. No one would have 
sorrowed. There would have been no calling of the Ke- 
public to witness ; not a man would have dared to stamp 
his foot, lest it should have been told to the Stoics." 1 
" You should keep the books of the philosophers for your 

1 De Oratore, lib. i. ca. liii. 


Tusculau ease " he had said in the preceding chapter ; and 
he speaks, in the same page, of "Plato's fabulous State." 

Then why, it may be asked, did he write so many essays 
on philosophy, enough to have consumed the energies of 
many laborious years ? There can be no doubt that he did 
write "The Philosophy," though we have ample reason to 
know that it was not his philosophy. All those treatises 
beginning with the "Academica," written when he was 
sixty-two, two years only before his death, and carried on 
during twelve months with indomitable energy, the "De 
Finibus," the " Tusculan Disputations," the " De Natura 
Deorum," the "De Divinatione," and the "De Fato," were 
composed during the time named. To those who have 
regarded Cicero as a philosopher, as one who has devoted 
his life to the pursuits of philosophy, does it not appear 
odd that he should have deferred his writing on the sub- 
ject and postponed his convictions till now ? At this 
special period of his life why should he have rushed into 
them at once, and should so have done it as to be able to 
leave them aside at another period ? Why has all this been 
done within less than two years ? Let any man look to the 
last year of his life, when the Philippics were coming hot 
from his brain and eager from his mouth, and ask himself 
how much of Greek philosophy he finds in them. Out of all 
the sixty-four years of his life he devoted one to this philo- 
sophy, and that not the last, but the penultimate, and so 
lived during all these years, even including that one, as to 
show how little hold philosophy had upon his conduct. 
T/3wct9 " ! Was that Greek philosophy ; or the eager 


exclamation of a human spirit, in its weakness and in its 
strength, fearing the breath of his fellow men, and yet 
knowing that the truth would ultimately be expressed by it ? 

Nor is the reason for this far to seek, though the character 
which could avail itself of such a reason requires a deep 
insight. To him literature had been everything. We have 
seen with what attention he had studied oratory, rhetoric 
rather, so as to have at his fingers' ends the names of 
those who had ever shone in it, and the doctrines they had 
taught. We know how well read he was in Homer and 
the Greek tragedians ; how he knew by heart his Ennius, 
his ]Sl~sevius, his Pacuvius, and the others who had written 
in his own tongue. As he was acquainted with the poets 
and rhetoricians, so also was he acquainted with those 
writers who have handled philosophy. His incredible 
versatility was never at fault. He knew them all from 
the beginning, and could interest himself in their doctrines. 
He had been in the schools at Athens, and had learned 
it all. In one sense he believed in it. There was a great 
battle of words carried on, and in regard to that battle 
he put his faith in this set or in the other. But had 
he ever been asked by what philosophical process he would 
rule the world, he would have smiled. Then he would have 
declared himself not to be an Academician, but a Eepublican. 

It was with him a game of play, ornamented with all 
the learning of past ages. He had found the schools full 
of it at Athens, and had taken his part in their teaching. 
It had been pleasant to him to call himself a disciple of 
Plato, arid to hold himself aloof from the straitness of the 

z 2 


Stoics and from the mundane theories of the followers of 
Epicurus. It had been well, for him also, to take an interest 
in that play. But to suppose that Cicero, the modern 
Cicero, the Cicero of the world, Cicero the polished gentle- 
man, Cicero the soft-hearted, Cicero the hater, Cicero the 
lover, Cicero the human, was a believer in Greek philosophy, 
that he had taken to himself and fed upon those shreds 
and tatters and dry sticks, that he had ever satisfied himself 
with such a mode of living as they could promise to him, is 
indeed to mistake the man. His soul was quiveringly alive 
to all those instincts which now govern us. Go among our 
politicians, and you shall find this man and the other, who, 
in after-dinner talk, shall call himself an Epicurean, or shall 
think himself to be an Academician. He has carried away 
something of the learning of his college days, and remembers 
enough of his school exercises for that. But when he has 
to make a speech for or against Protection, then you will 
find out where lies his philosophy. 

And so it was with Cicero during this, the penultimate 
year of his life. He poured forth during this period such 
an amount of learning on the subject that when men took 
it up after the lapse of centuries they labelled it all as his 
philosophy. When he could no longer talk politics, nor act 
them ; when the Forum was no longer open to him, nor the 
meetings of the people or of the Senate, when he could no 
longer make himself heard on behalf of the State, then he 
took to discussions on Carneades. And his discussions are 
wonderful. How could he lay his mind to work when his 
daughter was dead, and write in beautiful language four 


sucli treatises as came from his pen while he was thinking 
of the temple which was to be built to her memory ? It is 
a marvel that at such a period, at such an age, he should 
have been equal to the labour. But it was thus that he 
amused himself, consoled himself, distracted himself. It is 
hard to believe that in the sad evening of his life such 
a power should have remained with him ; but easier I 
think than to imagine that in that year of his life he had 
suddenly become philosophical. 

In describing the Academica, the first of these works in 
point of time, it is necessary to explain that by reason of 
an alteration in his plan of publishing made by Cicero after 
he had sent the first copy to Atticus ; and by the accident 
that the second part has been preserved of the former copy, 
and the first part of the second, a confusion has arisen. 
Cicero had felt that he might have done better by his friends 
than to bring Hortensius, Catulus, and Lucullus discuss- 
ing Greek philosophy before the public. They were, none of 
them, men who when alive had interested themselves in 
the matter. He therefore re-wrote the essays, or altered 
them, and again sent them forth to his friend Varro. Time 
has been so far kind to them as to have preserved portions 
of the first book as altered, and the second of the four which 
constituted the first edition. It is that which has been called 
Lucullus. The Catulus had come first, but has been lost. 
Hortensius and Cicero were the two last. We may perceive 
therefore into what a length of development he carried his 
purpose ! It must be of course understood that he dictated 
these exercises and assisted himself by the use of all 


mechanical means at his disposal. The men who worked for 
him were slaves, and these slaves were always willing to 
keep in their own hands the good things which came to 
them by the exercise of their own intelligence and adroitness. 
He could not multiply his own hands or brain, but he could 
multiply all that might assist them. He begins by telling 
Varro, that he has long since desired to illustrate in Latin 
letters the philosophy which Socrates had commended, and 
he asks Varro why he, who was so much given to writing, 
had not as yet written about any of these things. As 
Varro boasted afterwards that he was the author of 490 
books, there seems to be a touch of irony in this. Be that 
as it may, Varro is made to take up the gauntlet and 
to rush away at once amidst the philosophers. But here, 
on the threshold as it were of his inquiries, we have Cicero's 
own reasons given in plain language. " But now, hit hard 
by the heavy blow of fortune, and freed as I am from looking 
after the State, I seek from philosophy relief from my pain." 
He thinks that he may in this way perhaps best serve the 
public, or even, " if it be not so what else is that he may 
find to do." l As he goes on, however, we find that what he 
writes is about the philosophers rather than philosophy. 

Then we come to the Lucullus. It seems odd that the man 
whose name has come down to us as a byword for luxury, 
and who is laden with the reproach of over eating, should 
be thus brought forward as a philosopher. It was, perhaps 
the subsequent feeling on Cicero's part that such might be 

1 Acadumica ii. lib. i. ca. iii. 


the opinion of men which induced him to alter his form, 
in vain as far as we are concerned. But Lucullus had lived 
with Antiochus, a Greek philosopher, who had certain 
views of his own, and he is made to defend them through 
this book. 

Here as elsewhere it is not the subject which delights 
us so much as the manner in which he handles certain 
points almost outside the subject. " How many things do 
those exercised in music know which escape us. ' Ah there is 
Antiope ' they say ; ' that is Andromache.' " l What can be 
truer, or less likely, we may suppose, to meet us in a 
treatise on philosophy, and therefore more welcome ? He 
is speaking of evidence. " It is necessary that the mind 
shall yield to what is clear, whether it wish it or no, as the 
dish in a balance must give way, when a weight is put upon 
it." 2 "You may snore if you will as well as sleep," says 
Carneades ; " what good will it do you ? " 3 And then he 
gives the guesses of some of the old philosophers as to the 
infinite. Thales has said that water is the source of every- 
thing. Anaximauder would not agree to this, for he thought 
that all had come from space. Anaximenes had affirmed 
that it was air. Anaxagoras had remarked that matter was 
infinite. Xenophanes had declared that everything was one 
whole, and that it was a god, everlasting, eternal, never born, 
and never dying, but round in his shape ! Parmenides 
thought that it was fire that moved the earth. Leucippus 
believed it to be " plenum et inane." What " full and 

1 Acad. i, lib. ii. ca. vii. 2 Ibid. lib. ii. ca. xii. 3 Ibid. Hb.iL ca. xxix. 


empty " may mean I cannot tell. But Democritus could, 
for he believed in it, though in other matters be went a 
little further! Empedocles sticks to the old four elements. 
Heraclitus is all for fire. Melissus imagines that whatever 
exists is infinite and immutable, and ever has been and 
ever will be. Plato thinks that the world has always 
existed ; while the Pythagoreans attribute everything to 
mathematics. 1 "Your wise men," continues Cicero, *" will 
know one whom to chose out of all these. Let the others, 
who have been repudiated, retire." 

" They are all concealed, these things, hidden in thick 
darkness, so that no human eye can have power enough to 
look up into the heavens, or down on to the earth. We do 
not know our own bodies, or the nature or strength of their 
component parts. The doctors themselves, who have opened 
them and looked at them, are ignorant. The Empirics 
declare that they know nothing ; because as soon as 
looked at they may change." "Hicetas the Syracusan, as 
Theophrastus tells us, thinks that the heavens and the sun 
and the moon and the stars all stand still, and that nothing 
in all the world moves but the earth. Now ; what do you, 
followers of Epicurus say to this?" 2 I need not carry the 
conversation on any farther to show that Cicero is ridiculing 
the whole thing. This Hicetas, the Syracusan seems to have 
been nearer the mark than the others, according to the 
existing lights, which had not shone out as yet in Cicero's 
days. " But what was the meaning of it all ? Who knows 

1 Acad. 1, lib. ii. ca. xxxvii. a Ibid. ca. xxxix. 


anything about it? How is a man to live by listening to 
such trash as this ? " It is thus that Cicero means to be 
understood. I will agree that Cicero does not often speak 
out so clearly as he does here, turning the whole thing 
into ridicule. He does generally find it well to say some- 
thing in praise of these philosophers. He does not quite 
declare the fact that nothing is to be made of them ; 
or rather there is existing in it all an under feeling that 
were he to do so, he would destroy his character, and rob 
himself of his amusement. But we remember always his 
character of a philosopher as attributed to Cato, in his 
speech, during his Consulship, for Murena. I have told 
the story when giving an account of the speech. "He 
who cuts the throat of an old cock when there is no 
need has sinned as deeply as the parricide when breaking 
his father's neck," l says Cicero laughing at the Stoics. 
There he speaks out the feelings of his heart, there and 
often elsewhere in his orations. Here, in his Academica, 
he is eloquent on the same side. We cannot but rejoice 
at the plainness of his words, but it has to be acknowledged 
that we do not often find him so loudly betraying him- 
self when dealing with the old discussions of the Greek 

Very quickly after his Academica, in B.C. 45, came the 
five books, "De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum," written as 
though with the object of settling the whole controversy and 
declaring whether the truth lay with the Epicureans, the 

1 Pro Murena, ca. xxix. 


Stoics, or the Academics. What, at last, is the good thing 
and what the evil thing, and how shall we gain the one and 
avoid the other ? If he will tell us this he will have proved 
himself to be a philosopher to some purpose. But he does 
nothing of the kind. At the end of the fifth book we find 
Atticus who was an Epicurean, declaring to Quintus Cicero 
that he held his own opinion just as firmly as ever, although 
he had been delighted to hear how well the Academician 
Piso had talked in Latin. He had hitherto considered that 
these were things which would not sound well unless in the 
Greek language. 

It is again in the form of a dialogue, and like all his 
writings at this time is addressed to Brutus. It is in five 
books. The two first are supposed to have been held at 
Cumae between Cicero, Torquatus, and Triarius. Here, after 
a prelude in favour of philosophy and Latin together, Tor- 
quatus is allowed to make the best excuse he can for 
Epicurus. The prelude contains much good sense. For, 
whether he be right or not in what he says, it is good for 
every man to hold his own langviage in respect. " I have 
always thought and said, that the Latin language is not poor 
as it is supposed to be, but even richer than the Greek." 1 
" Let us learn," says Torquatus, who has happened to call 
upon him at Cumse with Triarius, a grave and learned youth 
as we are told, " since we have found you at your house, 
why it is that you do not approve of Epicurus; he 
who seems to have freed the minds of men from error 

1 DC Fiuibus, lib. i. ca. iii. 


and to have taught them everything which could tend to 
make them happy. " l Then Torquatus goes to work and 
delivers a most amusing discourse on the wisdom of Demo- 
critus and his great disciple. The words fly about with 
delightful power, so as to leave upon our minds an idea 
that Torquatus is persuading his audience. For it is Cicero's 
peculiar gift, in whosesoever mouth he puts his words, to 
make him argue as though he were the victor. We feel 
sure that had he in his hand held a theory contrary to that 
of Torquatus, had he in truth cared about it, he could not 
have made Torquatus speak so well. But the speaker comes 
to an end, and assures his hearers that his only object had 
been to hear, as he had never heard before, what Cicero's 
own opinion might be on the matter. 

The second book is a continuation of the same meeting. 
The word is taken up by Cicero, and he refutes Torquatus. 
It seems to us, however, that poor Epicurus is but badly 
treated, as has been generally the case in the prose works 
which have come down to us. We have, indeed, the poem 
of Lucretius, and it is admitted that it contains fine passages. 
But I was always told when young tLat the writing of it 
had led him to commit suicide, a deed on his part which 
seems to have been painted in black colours, though Cato 
and Brutus, the Stoics, did the same thing very gloriously. 
The Epicureans are held to be sensualists, because they have 
used the word " pleasure " instead of "happiness," and Cicero 
is hard upon them. He tells a story of the dying moments 

1 De Finibus, lib. i. ca. v. 


of Epicurus, quoting a letter written on his death-bed. 
" While I am writing," he says, " I am living my last hour, 
and the happiest. I have so bad a pain in my stomach that 
nothing can be worse. But I am compensated for it all by 
the joy I feel as I think of my philosophical discourses." l 
Cicero then goes on to declare that though the saying 
is very noble, it is unnecessary. He should not, in truth, 
have required compensation. But whenever an opinion is 
enunciated the reader feels it to be unnecessary. He does 
not want opinion. He is satisfied with the language in which 
Cicero writes about the opinions of others, and with the 
amusing manner in which he deals with things of themselves 
heavy and severe. 

In the third book he, some time afterwards, discusses the 
Stoic doctrine with Cato at the Tusculan villa of Lucullus, 
near to his own. He had walked over, and rinding Cato 
there by chance, had immediately gone to work to demolish 
Cato's philosophical doctrines. He tells us what a glutton 
Cato was over his books, taking them even into the Senate 
with him. Cicero asks for certain volumes of Aristotle, and 
Cato answers him that he would fain put into his hand those 
of Zeno's school. We can see how easily Cato falls into the 
trap. He takes up his parable, and preaches his sermon 5 
but he does it with a marvellous enthusiasm, so that we 
cannot understand that the man who wrote it intended to 
demolish it all in the next few pages. I will translate his 
last words of Cato's appeal to the world at large. " I have been 

1 De Finibus, lib. ii. ca. xxx. 


carried further than my intention. But in truth the admir- 
able order of the system and the incredible symmetry of it 
has led me on. By the gods, do you not wonder at it ! In 
nature there is nothing so close packed, nor in art so well 
fitted. The latter always agrees with the former ; that which 
follows with that which has gone before. Not a stone in it 
all can be moved from its place. If you touch but one letter 
it falls to the ground. How severe, how magnificent, how 
dignified, stands out the person of the wise man ; who when 
his reason shall have taught him that virtue is the only good, 
of a necessity must be happy ! He shall be more justly 
called king than Tarquin, who could rule neither himself 
nor others ; more rightly Dictator than Sulla, the owner of 
the three vices, luxury, avarice, and cruelty ; more rightly 
rich than Crassus, who, had he not in truth been poor, would 
never have crossed the Euphrates in quest of war. All 
things are justly his who knows how to use them justly. 
You may call him beautiful whose soul is more lovely than 
his body. He is free who is slave to no desire ; he is un- 
conquered for whose mind you can forge no chains. You 
him need not wait with him for the last day to pronounce 
happy. If this be so, then the good man is also the 
happy man. What can be better worth our study than 
philosophy, or what more heavenly than virtue ? " 1 All 
of this was written by Cicero in most elaborate language, 
with a finish of words polished down to the last syllable, 

1 De Finibus, lib. iii. ca. xxii. 


because lie had nothing else wherewith to satisfy the cravings 
of his intellect. 

The fourth book is a continuation of the argument. " Which 
when he had said he (made) an end. But I (began)." 1 With 
no other introduction Cicero goes to work and demolishes 
every word that Cato had said. He is very courteous, so 
that Cato cannot but admit that he is answered becomingly ; 
but, to use a common phrase, he does not leave him a leg to 
stand upon. Although during the previous book Cato has 
talked so well that the reader will think that there must be 
something in it, he soon is made to perceive that the Stoic 
budge is altogether shoddy. 

The fifth and last book "De Finibus " is supposed to recount 
a dialogue held at Athens, or rather gives the circumstances 
of a discourse pretended to have been delivered there by 
Pupius Piso to the two Ciceros and to their cousin Lucius, on 
the merits of the old Academy and the Aristotelian Peripa- 
tetics. For Plato's philosophy had got itself split into two. 
There was the old and the new, and we may perhaps doubt 
to which Cicero devoted himself. He certainly was not an 
Epicurean, and he certainly was not a Stoic. He delighted 
to speak of himself as a lover of Plato. But in some 
matters he seems to have followed Aristotle who had 
diverged from Plato, and he seems also to have clung to 
Carneades, who had become master of the new Academy. 
But, in truth, to ascertain the special doctrine of such a 
man on such a subject is vain. As we read these works 

1 De Finibus, lib. iv. 1. 


we lose ourselves in admiration of his memory, we are 
astonished at the industry which he exhibits, we are de- 
lighted by his perspicuity, and feel ourselves relieved amidst 
the crowd of names and theories by flashes of his wit ; but 
there comes home to us as a result, the singular fact of a man 
playing with these theories as the most interesting sport the 
world had produced, but not believing the least in any of 
them. It was not that he disbelieved ; and perhaps among 
them all the tenets of the new Academy were those which 
reconciled themselves the best to his common sense. But 
they were all nothing to him, but an amusement. 

In this book there are some exquisite bits. He says, 
speaking of Athens, that, " Go where you will through the 
city, you place your footsteps on the vestiges of history." l 
He says of a certain Demetrius, whom he describes as 
writing books without readers in Egypt, " That this culture 
of his mind was to him, as it were, the food by which his 
humanity was kept alive." 2 And then he falls into the 
praise of our love for our neighbours, and introduces us to 
that true philosophy which was the real guide of his life. 
"Among things which are honest," he says, "there is nothing 
which shines so brightly and so widely as that brotherhood 
between men, that agreement as to what may be useful to 
all, and that general love for the human race. It comes 
from our original condition, in which children are loved by 
their parents, and then binding together the family, it 
spreads itself abroad among relations, connexions, friends, 

1 De Finibus, lib. v. ca. ii. 2 Ibid. lib. v. ca. xix. 


and neighbours. Then it includes citizens and those who 
are our allies. At last it takes in the whole human race, 
and that feeling of the soul arises which, giving every man 
his own, and defending by equal laws the rights of each, is 
called justice." 1 It matters little how may have been intro - 
duced this great secret which Christ afterwards taught, and 
for which we look in vain through the writings of all the 
philosophers. It comes here simply from Cicero himself in 
the midst of his remarks on the new Academy, but it gives 
the lesson which had governed his life. "I will do unto others 
as I would they should do unto me." In this is contained 
the rudiments of that religion which has served to soften the 
hearts of us all. It is of you I must think, and not of 
myself. Hitherto the schools had taught how a man should 
make himself happy, whether by pleasure, whether by virtue, 
or whether by something between the two. It seems that it 
had never as yet occurred to a man to think 'of another except 
as a part of the world around him. Then there had come a 
teacher who, while fumbling among the old Greek lessons 
which had professed to tell mankind what each should do 
for himself, brings forth this, as it were, in preparation for 
the true doctrine that was to come. " Ipsa caritas generis, 
humani ! " " That love of the human race ! " I trust I may 
be able to show, before I have finished my work, that this 
was Cicero's true philosophy. All the rest is merely with 
him a play of words. 

Our next work contains the five books of the Tusculan 

1 De Finibus, lib. v. ca. xxiii. 


Disputations, addressed to Brutus. " Tusculanarum Disputati- 
onum, ad M. Brutum, libri i., ii., iii., iv., and v." That is the 
name that has at last been decided by the critics and anno- 
tators as having been probably given to them by Cicero. 
They are supposed to have been written to console himself in 
his grief for the death of Tullia. I have great doubt whether 
consolation in sorrow is to be found in philosophy, but I 
have none as to the finding it in writing philosophy. Here, 
I may add, that the poor generally suffer less in their sorrow 
than the rich because they are called upon to work for their 
bread. The man who must make his pair of shoes between 
sunrise and the moment at which he can find relief from his 
weary stool has not time to think that his wife has left him 
and that he is desolate in the world. Pulling those weary 
threads, getting that leather into its proper shape, seeing that 
his stitches be all taut so that he do not lose his place 
among the shoemakers, so fills his time that he has not a 
moment for a tear. And it is the same if you go from the 
lowest occupation to the highest. Writing Greek philosophy 
does as well as the making of shoes. The nature of the 
occupation depends on the mind, but its utility on the dis- 
position. It was Cicero's nature to write. Will any one 
believe that he might not as well have consoled himself with 
one of his treatises on oratory ? But philosophy was then 
to his hands. It seems to have cropped up in his latter 
years after he had become intimate with Brutus. When life 
was again one turmoil of political fever it was dropped. 

In the five of the Books of the Tusculan disputations, 
still addressed to Brutus, he contends 



1. That death is no evil. 

2. That pain is none. 

3. That sorrow may be abolished. 

4. That the passions may be conquered. 

5. That virtue will suffice to make a man happy. 

These are the doctrines of the Stoics ; but Cicero does 
not in these books defend any school especially. He leans 
heavily on Epicurus, and gives all praise to Socrates and 
to Plato ; but he is comparatively free. " Nullius adductus 
jurare in verbamagistri," 1 as Horace afterwards said, probably 
ridiculing Cicero. " I live for the day. Whatever strikes my 
mind as probable, that I say. In this way I alone am free." 2 

Let us take kis 'dogmas and go through them one by one, 
comparing each with his own life. This, it may be said, is a 
crucial test to which but few philosophers would be willing 
to accede ; but if it shall be found that he never even 
dreamed of squaring his conduct with his professions, then 
we may admit that he employed his time in writing these 
things because it did not suit him to make his pair of shoes. 

Was there ever a man who lived with a greater fear of 
death before his eyes ; not with the fear of a coward, but 
with the assurance that it would withdraw him from his 
utility and banish him from the scenes of a world in sym- 
pathy with which every pulse of his heart was beating? 
Even after Tullia was dead the Eepublic had come again for 
him, and something might be done to stir up these faineant 
nobles ! What could a dead man do for his country ? Look 

1 Epis. i. 1, 14. a TUB. Disp. lib. v. ca. xi 


back at Cicero's life and see how seldom he has put forward 
the plea of old age to save him from his share of the work of 
attack. Was this the man to console himself with the idea 
that death was no evil ? 

And did he despise pain or make any attempt at showing 
his disregard of it ? You can hardly answer this question 
by looking for a man's indifference when undergoing it. It 
would be to require too much from philosophy to suppose 
that it could console itself in agony by reasoning. It 
would not be fair to insist on arguing with Cato in the gout. 
The clemency of human nature refuses to deal with philo- 
sophy in the hard straits to which it may be brought by the 
malevolence of evil. But when you find a man peculiarly 
on the alert to avoid the recurrence of pain, when you find 
a man with a strong premeditated antipathy to a condition 
as to which he pretends an indifference, then you may fairly 
assert that his indifference is only a matter of argument. 
And this was always Cicero's condition. He knew that he 
must at any rate lose the time passed by him under physical 
annoyance. His health was good, and by continued care 
remained so to the end ; but he was always endeavouring to 
avoid sea-sickness. He was careful as to his baths, careful 
as to his eyes, very careful as to his diet. Was there ever 
a man of whom it might be said with less truth that he was 
indifferent as to pain ? 

The third position is that sorrow may be abolished. Bend 
his letters to Atticus about his daughter Tullia, written 
at the very moment he was proving this. He was a 
heartbroken, sorrow-stricken man. It will not help us now 

A A 2 


to consider whether in this he showed strength or weakness. 
There will be doubt about it, whether he gained or lost 
more by that deep devotion to another creature which made 
his life a misery to him because that other one had gone ; 
whether, too, he might not have better hidden his sorrow than 
have shown it even to his friend. But with him at any 
rate it was there. He can talk over it, weep over it, almost 
laugh over it ; but if there be a thing that he cannot do it 
is to treat it after the manner of a Stoic. 

His passions should be conquered. Look back at every 
period of his life, and see whether he has ever attempted it. 
He has always been indignant, or triumphant, or miserable, 
or rejoicing. Remember the incidents of his life before and 
after his Consulship ; the day of his election and the day 
of his banishment, and ask the philosophers why he had 
not controlled his passion. I shall be told, perhaps, that 
here was a man over whom, in spite of his philosophy, 
his passion had the masterhood. But what attempt did 
he ever make? Has he shown himself to us to be a 
man with a leaning towards such attempts? Has he not 
revelled in his passions, feeling them to be just, righteous, 
honest, and becoming a man ? Has he regretted them ? 
Did they occasion him remorse ? Will any one tell me that 
such a one has lived with the conviction that he might 
conquer the evils of the world by controlling his passions ? 

That virtue will make men happy be might probably have 
granted if asked ; but he would have conceded the point with 
a subterfuge. The commonest Christian of the day will say 
as much. But he will say it in a different meaning from 


that intended by the philosophers who had declared, as a 
rule of life, that virtue would suffice to make them happy. 
To be good to your neighbours will make you happy in the 
manner described by Cicero in the fifth book " De Finibus." 
Love those who come near you. Be good to your fellow 
creatures. Think when dealing with each of them what his 
feelings may be. Melt to a woman in her sorrow. Lend a 
man the assistance of your shoulder. Be patient with age. 
Be tender with children. Let others drink of your cup and 
eat of your loaf. Where the wind cuts, there lend your 
cloak. That virtue will make you happy. But that is not 
the virtue of which he spoke when he laid down his doctrine. 
That was not the virtue with which Brutus was strong when 
he was skinning those poor wretches of Salamis. Such 
was the virtue with which the heart of Cicero glowed when 
he saw the tradesmen of the Cilician town come out into 
the market-place with their corn. 

Cicero begins the second book of the Tusculans by telling 
us that Neoptolemus liked to do a little philosophy now and 
then, but never too much at a time. With himself the 
matter was different. " In what else is there that I can do 
better ? " Then he takes the bit between his teeth and 
rushes away with it. The reader feels that he would not 
stop him if he could. He does little, indeed, for philosophy ; 
but so much for literature that he would be a bold man 
who would want to have him otherwise employed. 

He wrote three treatises, "De Natura Deorum." Had 
he declared that he would write three treatises to show the 
ideas which different men had taken up about the gods he 


would be nearer to the truth. We have an idea of what 
was Cicero's real notion of that " dominans in nobis deus," l 
that god which reigns within us, and which he de- 
clares in Scipio's dream to have forbidden us to commit suicide. 
Nothing can be further removed from that idea than the 
gods of which he tells us, either in the first book, in which 
the gods of Epicurus are set forth ; in the second, in which 
the Stoics are defended ; or the third, in which the gods, in 
accordance with the Academy, are maintained. Not but that 
either, for the one or for the other, the man who speaks up 
for that sect does not say the best that is to be said. Vel 
leius is eloquent for the Epicureans, Balbus for the Stoics, 
and Gotta for the Academy. And in that which each says 
there is to be found a germ of truth ; though indeed Cicero 
makes his Epicurean as absurd as he well can do. But he 
does not leave a trace behind of that belief in another man's 
belief which an energetic preacher is sure to create. The 
language is excellent, the stories are charming, the arguments 
as used against each other, are courteous, clever, and such 
that on the spar of the moment a man cannot very well 
reply to them. But they leave on the mind of the reader 
a sad feeling of the lack of reality. 

In the beginning he again repeats his reasons for writing 
on such subjects so late in life. " Being sick with ease, and 
having found the condition of the Eepublic to be such that 
it has to be ruled by one man, I have thought it good, for 
the sake of the Republic, to write about philosophy in a 

Tus. Disp. lib. i. ca. xxx. 


language that shall be understood by all our citizens, be- 
lieving it to be a matter of great import to the glory of the 
State that things of such weight should be set forth in the 
Latin tongue ; " l not that the philosophy should be set forth, 
but what the different teachers said about it. His definition 
of eternity, or rather the want of definition, is singular. 
" There has been from all time an eternity which no measure- 
ment of time can describe. Its duration cannot be understood, 
that there should have been a time before time existed. " 2 
Then there comes an idea of the Godhead, escaping from 
him in the midst of his philosophy, modern, human, and 
truly Ciceronian. " Lo, it comes to pass that this god, of 
whom we are sure in our minds, and of whom we hold the 
very footprints on our souls, can never appear to us." 3 

By and by we come to a passage in which we cannot 
but imagine that Cicero does express something of the 
feeling of his heart, as for a moment he seems to lose his 
courtesy in abusing the Epicureans. "Therefore do not 
waste your salt, of which your people are much in want, 
in laughing at us. Indeed, if you will listen to me, you will 
not try to do so. It does not become you. It is not given 
to you. You have not the power. I do not say this to 
you " he says addressing Velleius, " for your manners 
have been polished, and you possess the courtesy of our 
people ; but I am thinking of you all as a body, and chiefly 
of him who is the father of your rules, a man without 
science, without letters, one who insults all, without critical 

1 De Natura Deo. lib. i. ca. iv. 2 Ibid. lib. i. ca. ix. 

3 Ibid. i. ca. xiv. 


ability, without weight, without wit." l Cicero, I think, must 
have felt some genuine dislike for Epicurus when he spoke 
of him in such terms as these. 

Then, alas ! there is commenced a passage in which are 
inserted many translated verses of the Greek poet Aratus. 
Cicero when a lad had taken in hand the "Phenomena" 
of Aratus, and here he finds a place in which can be intro- 
duced some of his lines. Aratus had devoted himself to 
the singing of the stars, and has produced for us many of 
the names with which we are still familiar. " The Twins." 
"The Bull" "The Great Bear." "Cassiopeia." "The 
Waterman." "The Scorpion;" these and many others are 
made to come forward in hexameters, and by Cicero in 
Latin as by Aratus in their Greek guise. "We may suppose 
that the poem as translated had fallen dead ; but here it is 
brought to life and is introduced into what is intended as 
at least a rationalistic account of the gods and their nature. 
Nothing less effective can be imagined than the repetition 
of uninteresting verses in such a place. For the reader, who 
has had Epicurus just handled for him, is driven to re- 
member that their images are at any rate as false as the 
scheme of Epicurus, and is made to conclude that Balbus 
does not believe in his own argument. It has been some- 
times said of Cicero that he is too long. The lines have 
probably been placed here as a joke, though they are inserted 
at such a length as to carry the reader away altogether into 
another world. 

1 DC Kat. Deo. lib. ii. co. xxix. 


Further on lie devotes himself to anatomical research which, 
for that age, shows an accurate knowledge. But what has it to 
do with the nature of the gods ? " When the belly which is 
placed under the stomach becomes the receptacle of meat and 
drink, the lungs and the heart draw in the air for the stomach. 
The stomach, which is wonderfully arranged, consists chiefly of 
nerves." " The lungs are light and porous and like a sponge, 
just fit for drawing in the breath. They blow themselves 
out and draw themselves in, so that thus may be easily 
received that sustenance most necessary to animal life." 1 

The third book is but a fragment, but it begins well with 
pleasant raillery against Epicurus. Cotta declares that he 
had felt no difficulty with Epicurus. Epicurus and his 
allies had found little to say as to the immortal gods. His 
gods had possessed arms and legs, but had not been able to 
move them. But from Balbus, the Stoic, they had heard 
much, which though not true, was nevertheless truthlike. 
In all these discourses it seems that the poor Epicureans 
are treated with but a moderate amount of mercy. But 
Cotta continues and tells many stories of the gods. He is 
interrupted in his tale, for the sad hand of destruction has 
fallen upon the MS. and his arguments have come to 
us unfinished. "It is better," he says, "not to give wine 
to the sick at all, because you may injure them by the 
application. In the same way I do not know whether it 
would not be better to refuse that gift of reason, that sharpness 
and quickness of thought, to men in general, than to bestow 

1 De Nat. Deo. lib. ii. ta. liv. and Iv. 


it upon them so often to their own destruction." * It is thus 
that is discussed the nature of the gods in this work of Cicero, 
which is indeed a discussion on the different schools of Philo- 
sophy, each in the position which it had reached in his time. 
The " De Natura Deorum " is followed by two books 
" De Divinatione " and by the fragment of one " De Fato." 
Divination is the science of predicting events. By " Fatum " 
Cicero means destiny, or that which has been fixed before- 
hand. The three books together may be taken as religious 
discourses, and his purport seems to have been to show that 
it might be the duty of the State to foster observances and 
even to punish their non-observance, for the benefit of the 
whole, even though they might not be in themselves true. 
He is here together with his brother or with those whom, 
like his brother, he may suppose to have emancipated them- 
selves from superstition, and tells him or them that 
though they do not believe they should feign belief. If 
the augurs declare by the flight of birds that such a thing 
should be done, let it be done, although he who has to act 
in the matter has no belief in the birds. If they declare 
that a matter has been fixed by fate, let it be as though it 
were fixed, whether fixed or no. He repudiates the belief as 
unreasonable or childish, but recommends that men should 
live as though they believed. In such a theory as this 
put thus before the reader, there will seem to be dissimula- 
tion. I cannot deny that it is so, though most anxious to 
assert the honesty of Cicero. I can only say that such 
dissimulation did prevail then, and that it does prevail 

1 De Nat. Deo. lib. iii. ca. xxvii. 


now. If any be great enough to condemn the hierarchs of 
all the churches he may do so, and may include Cicero 
with the Archbishop of Canterbury. I am not. It seems 
necessary to make allowance for the advancing intelligence 
of men, and unwise to place yourself so far ahead as to shut 
yourself out from that common pale of mankind. I distrust 
the self-confidence of him who thinks that he can deduce 
from one acknowledged error a whole scheme of falsehood. 
I will take our Protestant Church of England religion and 
will ask some thoughtful man his belief as to its changing 
doctrines, and will endeavour to do so without shocking the 
feelings of any. When did Sabbatarian observances begin 
to be required by the word of God, and when again did they 
cease to be so? If it were worth the while of those who 
have thought about the subject to answer my question, the 
replies would be various. It has never begun ! It has never 
wavered ! And there would be the intermediate replies of 
those who acknowledge that the feeling of the country is 
altering and has altered. In the midst of this how many 
a father of a family is there who goes to church for the 
sake of example ? Does not the Church admit prayers for 
change of weather ? Ask the clergyman on his way from 
church what he is doing with his own haystack, and his 
answer will let you know whether he believes in his own 
prayers. He has lent all the sanctity of his voice to the 
expression of words which had been written when the 
ignorance of men as to the works of nature was greater ; 
or written yesterday because the ignorance of man has 
demanded it. Or they who have demanded it have not 


perhaps, been ignorant themselves, but have thought it well 
to subserve the superstition of the multitude. I am not 
saying this as against the religious observances of to-day, 
but as showing that such is still the condition of men as 
to require the defence which Cicero also required when he 
wrote as follows ; " Former ages erred in much, which we 
know to have been changed by practice, by doctrine or by 
time. But the custom, the religion, the discipline, the laws 
of the augurs and the authority of the college, are retained, 
in obedience to the opinion of the people, and to the great 
good of the State. Our Consuls, Claudius and Junius, were 
worthy of all punishment when they put to sea in opposition 
to the auspices. For men must obey religion, nor can the 
customs of our country be set aside so easily." l No stronger 
motive for adhering to religious observances can be put 
forward than the opinion of the people and the good of 
the State. There will be they who aver that truth is 
great and should be allowed to prevail. Though broken 
worlds should fall in disorder round their heads, they would 
stand firm amidst the ruins. But they who are likely to be 
made responsible will not cause worlds to be broken. 

Such, I think, was the reasoning within Cicero's mind 
when he wrote these treatises. In the first he encounters 
his brother Quintus at his Tusculan villa, and there listens 
to him discoursing in favour of religion. Quintus is altogether 
on the side of the gods and the auspices. He is, as we 
may say, a gentleman of the old school, and is thoroughly 

De Divinalione, lib. ii. ca. xxxiii. 


conservative. In this way he has an opportunity given him 
of showing the antiquity of his belief. " Stare super vias 
antiquas," is the motto of Quintus Cicero. Then he proceeds 
to show the two kinds of divination which have been in 
use. There is the one which he calls " Ars," and which we 
perhaps may call experience. The soothsayer predicts in 
accordance with his knowledge of what has gone before. 
He is asked to say, for instance, whether a ship shall put 
to sea on a Friday. He knows, or thinks that he knows, 
or in his ignorance declares that he thinks that he knows, 
that ships that have put to sea on Friday have generally gone 
to the bottom. He therefore predicts against the going to 
sea. Although the ship should put forth on the intended 
day and should make a prosperous voyage, the prophet has 
not been proved to be false. That can only be done by 
showing that ships that have gone to sea on Friday have 
generally been subject to no greater danger than others, 
a process which requires the close observations of science to 
make good. That is Art. Then there is the prediction which 
comes from a mind disturbed, one who dreams, let us say, 
or prophesies when in a fit, as the Sybil, or Epiinenides 
of Crete who lived 157 years but slept during sixty-four 
of them. Quintus explains as to these that the god does 
not desire mankind to understand them, but only to use 
them. 1 

He tells us many amusing details as to prophetic dreams 
and the doings of soothsayers and wise men. The book so 

1 De Divin. lib. i. ca. xviii. 


becomes chatty and full of anecdotes, and interspersed with 
many pieces of poetry, some by others and some by Cicero. 
Here are given those lines as to the battle of the eagle and 
the dragon which I have ventured to call the best amidst 
the nine versions brought forward. 1 

We cannot but sympathise with him in the reason which 
he prefixes to the second book of this treatise. " I often ask 
myself and turn in my mind how best I may serve the 
largest number of my fellow-citizens, lest there should 
come a time in which I should seem to have ceased to be 
anxious for the State. And nothing better has occurred to 
me than that I should make known the way of studying 
the best arts, which indeed I think I have now done in 
various books." 2 Then he recapitulates them. There is the 
opening work on philosophy which he had dedicated to 
Hortensius, now lost. Then in the four books of the 
Academics he had put forward his ideas as to that school 
which he believed to be the least arrogant and the truest ; 
meaning the new Academy. After that, as he had felt all 
philosophy to be based on the search after good and evil, 
he had examined that matter. The Tusculan Inquiries had 
followed in which he had set forth, in five books, the five 
great rules of living well. Having finished this, he had 
written his three books on the nature of the gods, and was 
now in the act of completing it, and would complete it, 
by his present inquiries. We cannot but sympathise with 
him because we know, that though he was not quite in 

1 De Divin. lib. i. ca. xlvii. J Ibid. lib. ii. ca. i. 


earnest in all this, he was as near it as a man can be who 
teaches that which he does not quite believe himself. Brutus 
believed it, and Cato, and that Velleius, and that Balbus, and 
that Gotta. Or if perchance any of them did not, they lived 
and talked, and read, and were as erudite about it, as though 
they did. The example was good, and the precepts were the 
best to be had. Amidst it all he chose the best doctrine, and 
he was undoubtedly doing good to his countrymen in thus 
representing to them in their native language the learning 
by which they might best be softened. 

" Grsecia capta ferum victorem cepit, et artes, 
Intulit agresti Latio." 1 

Here, too, he explains his own conduct in a beautiful 
passage. " My fellow citizens," says he, " will pardon me, 
or perhaps will rather thank me, for that when the Republic 
fell into the power of one man, I neither hid myself nor did 
I desert them, nor did I idly weep, or carry myself as though 
angry with the man or with the times ; nor yet, forsooth, so 
flattering the good fortune of another, that I should have 
to be ashamed of what I had done myself. For I had 
learned this lesson from the philosophy of Plato, that there 
are certain changes in public affairs. They will be governed 
now by the leaders of the State, then by the people, some- 
times by a single man." 2 This is very wise, but he goes to 
work and altogether destroys his brother's argument. He 

1 Horace, Ep. lib. ii. i. 

" Greece, conquered Greece.'her conqueror subdued, 
And Kome grew polished who till then was rude. " 

CONINGTON'S Translation. 

2 De Divinatione, lib. ii. 2. 


knows that he is preaching only to a few, in such a manner 
as to make his preaching safe. His language is very pleasing, 
always civil, always courteous ; but not the less does he turn 
the arguments of his brother into ridicule. And we feel that 
he is not so much laughing at his brother, as at the gods 
themselves. They are so clearly wooden gods, though he 
is aware how necessary it is for the good of the State that 
they shall be received. He declares that in accordance with 
the theory of his brother, meaning thereby the Stoics, 
" it is necessary that they, the gods, should spy into every 
cottage along the road, so that they may look after the affairs 
of men. 1 It is playful, argumentative, and satirical. At last 
he proposes to leave the subject. Socrates would also do so, 
never asking for the adhesion of any one, but leaving the full 
purport of his words to sink into the minds of his audience. 
Quintus says that he quite agrees to this, and so the discourse 
" De Divinatione " is brought to an end. 

Of his book on fate we have only a fragment, or the middle 
part of it. It is the desire of Cicero to show that in the 
sequence of affairs which men call Life, it matters little 
whether there be a Destiny or not. Things will run on, and 
will be changed, or apparently be changed, by the action of 
men. What is it to us whether this or that event has been 
decreed while we live, and while each follows his own devices ? 
All this however is a little tedious, taken at the end of so long 
a course of philosophy ; and we rise at last from the perusal 
with a feeling of thankfulness that all these books of 

De Diviniatione, lib. ii. ca. li. 


Chrysippus of which he tells us, are not still existent to 
be investigated. 

Such is the end of those works which I admit to have 
been philosophical, and of which it seems he understood that 
they were the work of about eighteen months. They were 
all written after Caesar's triumph, when it was no longer 
in the power of any Roman to declare his opinion either in 
the Senate or in the Forum. Caesar had put down all oppo- 
sition and was made supreme over everything, till his death. 
The "De Fato " was written indeed after he had fallen, 
but before things had so far shaped themselves as to make 
it necessary that Cicero should return to public life. So, 
indeed, were the three last moral essays which I shall notice 
in the next chapter. But in truth he had them always in 
his heart. It was only necessary that he should send them 
forth to scribes, leaving either to himself, or to some faithful 
Tiro, the subsequent duty of rearrangement. But what 
a head there was there to contain it all ! 




WE have now to deal with the moral essays of this almost 
inexhaustible contributor to the world's literature, and we 
shall then have named perhaps a quarter of all that he wrote. 
I have seen somewhere a calculation that only a tenth of his 
works remain to us, dug out, as it were, from the buried 
ruins of literature by the care of sedulous and eager scholars. 
I make a more modest estimate of his powers. Judging 
from what we know to have been lost, and from the absence 
of any effort to keep the greater portion of his letters, I 
think that I do not exaggerate his writing. Who can say 
but that as time goes on some future Petrarch or some future 
Mai may discover writings hitherto unknown, concealed in 
convent boxes, or more mysteriously hidden beneath the 
labours of middle-age monks ? It was but in 1822 that 
the " De Eepublica " was brought to light, so much of it 
at least as we still possess ; and for more than thirty yeai 
afterwards Cardinal Mai continued to reproduce, from time 
time collections of Greek and Latin writings hitherto unheai 
of by classical readers. Let us hope, however, that the zeal of 
the learned may stop short of that displayed by Simon Di 


Bos, or we may have whole treatises of Cicero of which 
he himself was guiltless. 1 

I can hardly content myself with classifying the "De 
Eepublica" and the "De Legibus" under the same name with 
these essays of Cicero which are undoubtedly moral in their 
nature. But it may pass, perhaps, without that distinct 
contradiction which had to be made as to the enveloping 
the "De Officiis " in the garb of philosophy. It has been 
the combining of the true and false in one set and handing 
them down to the world as Cicero's philosophy which has 
done the mischief. The works reviewed in the last chapter 
contained disputations on the Greek philosophy which Cicero 
thought might be well handled in the Latin language for the 
benefit of his countrymen. It would be well for them to 
know what Epicurus taught or Zeno, and how they differed 
from Socrates and Plato, and this he told them. Now, in 
these moral essays, he gives them his own philosophy, if 
that may be called philosophy which is intended to teach 
men how to live well. There are six books on government, 
called the " De Eepublica," and three on law ; and there are 
the three treatises, on old age and friendship each in one 
book, and that on the duty of man to man, in three. 

There is a common error in the world as to the meaning 

1 The story of Simon Du Bos and his MS. has been first told to me by Mr. 
Tyrell in his first volume of "The Correspondence of Cicero," p. 88. That 
a man should have been such a scholar, and yet such a liar, and should have 
gone to his long account content with the feeling that he had cheated the 
world by a fictitious MS., when his erudition, if declared, would have given 
him a scholar's fame, is marvellous. Perhaps he intended to be discovered. 
I, for one, should not have heard of Bosius but for his lie. 

B B 2 


of the word Republic. It has come to have a sweet savour 
in the nostrils of men, or a most evil scent, according to their 
politics. But there is, in truth, the Eepublic of Russia as there 
is that of the United States, and that of England. Cicero, 
in using it as the name of his work, simply means "the 
government," and the treatise under that head contains an 
account of the Eoman Empire, and is historical rather than 
argumentative and scientific. He himself was an oligarch, 
and had been brought up amidst a condition of things in 
which that most deleterious form of government recommended 
itself to him as containing all that had been good and mag- 
nificent in the Roman empire. The great men of Rome, 
whom the empire had demanded for its construction, had 
come up each for the work of a year ; and, when succeeding, 
had perhaps been elected for a second. By the expulsion of 
their kings the class from whom these men had been chosen 
showed their personal desire for honour, and the marvel is 
that through so many centuries those oligarchs should have 
nourished. The reader, unless he be strongly impregnated 
with democratic feelings, when he begins to read Roman 
history finds himself wedded to the cause of these oligarchs. 
They have done the big deeds and the opposition conies to 
them from vulgar hands. Let me ask any man who re- 
members the reading of his Livy whether it was not so 
with him. But it was in truth the democratic element 
opposed to these leaders, and the battles they won from time 
to time within the walls of tlie city, which produced the 
safety of Rome and enabled the government to go on. Then 
by degrees the people became enervated and the leaders 


became corrupt, and by masterhood over foreign people and 
external subjects slaves were multiplied and the work 
appertaining to every man could be done by another man's 
hand. Then the evils of oligarchy began. Plunder, rapine, 
and luxury took the place of duty performed. A Verres 
ruled where a Marcellus had conquered. Cicero, who saw 
the difference plainly enough in regard to the individuals, 
did not perceive that this evil had grown according to its 
nature. That state of affairs was produced which Mommsen 
has described to us as having been without remedy. But 
Cicero did not see it. He had his eyes on the greatness of 
the past, and on himself, and would not awake to the 
fact that the glory was gone from Eome. He was in this 
state of mind when he wrote his " De Eepublica," nine years 
before the time in which he commenced his philosophi- 
cal discussions. Then he still hoped. Csesar was away in 
Gaul, and Pompey maintained at Eome the ghost of the 
old Eepublic. He could still open his mouth and talk boldly 
of freedom. He had not been as yet driven to find con- 
solation amidst that play of words which constitutes the 
Greek philosophy. 

I must remind the readers again that the " De Eepublica " 
is a fragment. The first part is wanting. We find him 
telling us the story of the elder Cato in order that we may 
understand how good it is that we should not relax in our 
public work as long as our health will sustain us. Then he 
gives instances to show that the truly good citizen will not 
be deterred by the example of men who have suffered for 
their country, and among the number he names himself. 


But he soon introduces the form of dialogue which he 
afterwards continues, and brings especially the younger 
Scipio and Lselius upon the scene. The lessons which are 
given to us are supposed to come from the virtue of the 
titular grandson of the greater Scipio who outmanoeuvred 
Hannibal. He continues to tell story after story out of the 
Roman chronicles, and at last assures us that that form of 
government is the best in which the monarchical element is 
tempered by the authority of the leading citizens and kept 
alive by the voices of the people. Is it only because I am 
an Englishman that he seems to me to describe that form of 
government which was to come in England ? 

The second book also begins with the praises of Cato. 
Scipio then commences with Romulus, and tells the history 
of Home's kings. Tarquin is banished and the Consulate 
established. He tells us, by no means with approbation, 
how the Tribunate was established, and then, alas, there 
comes a break in the MS. 

In the third we have, as a beginning, a fragment handed 
down to us by Augustine, in which Cicero complains of 
the injustice of nature in having sent man into the world, as 
might a stepmother, naked, weak, infirm, with soul anxious, 
timid, and without force, but still having within it something 
of divine fire, not wholly destroyed. Then after a while, 
through many " Lacunae," Scipio, Lselius, and one Philus, fall 
into a discourse as to justice. There is a remarkable passage 
from which we learn that the Romans practised protection 
with a rigour exceeding that of modern nations. They 
would not even permit their transalpine allies to plant 


their olives and vineyards, lest their produce should make 
their way across Italy, whereby they raised the prices 
against themselves terribly of oil and wine. 1 " There is a 
kind of slavery which is unjust," says one; "when those 
men have to serve others who might ' properly belong to 
themselves.' But when they only are made to be slaves 

who ." We may perceive that the speaker went on to 

say that they who were born slaves might properly be 
kept in that position. But it is evidently intended to be 
understood that there exists a class who are slaves by right. 
Carneades, the later master of the new Academy, has now 
joined them, and teaches a doctrine which would not make 
him popular in this country. "If you should know," he 
says, " that an adder lay hid just where one were about to 
sit down, whose death would be a benefit to you, you would 
do wrong unless you were to tell him of it. But you would 
do it with impunity, as no one could prove that you knew it." 
From this may be seen the nature of the discourses on justice. 
The two next books are but broken fragments, treating 
of morals and manners. In the sixth we come to that 
dream of Scipio which has become so famous in the world 
of literature that I do not know whether I can do better 
than translate it, and add it on as an appendix to the end of 
my volume. It is in itself so beautiful in parts that I think 
that all readers will thank me. (See appendix to this 
chapter). At the same time it has to be admitted that it 

1 De Republica, lib. iii. It is useless to give the references here. It is all 
flagmen tary, and ,has been divided differently as new information has been 


is in parts fantastic, and might almost be called childish 
were it not that we remember, when reading it, at what 
distance of time it was written, and with what difficulty 
Cicero strove to master subjects which science has made fami- 
liar to tts. The music of the spheres must have been heard 
in his imagination before he could have told us of it as he 
has done in language which seems to be poetic now as it 
was then, and because poetic, therefore not absurd. The 
length of the year's period is an extravagance. You may 
call your space of time by what name' you will. It is long 
or short in proportion to man's life. He tells us that we may 
not hope that our fame shall be heard of on the other side 
of the Ganges, or that our voices shall come down through 
many years. I myself read this dream of Scipio in a 
volume found in Australia, and read it two thousand years 
after it was written. He could judge of this world's future 
only by the past. But when he tells us of the soul's immor- 
tality, and of the heaven to be won by a life of virtue, of 
the duty upon us to remain here where God has placed us, 
and of the insufficiency of fame to fill the cravings of the 
human heart, then we have to own that we have come very 
near to that divine teaching which he was not permitted 
to hear. 

Two years afterwards, about the time that Milo was 
killing Clodius, he wrote his treatise in three books, "De 
Legibus." It is, we are told, a copy from Plato. As is the 
"Topica" a copy from Aristotle, written on board ship from 
memory, so may this be called a copy. The idea was given 
to him, and many of the thoughts which he has worked up 


in Ins own manner. It is a dialogue between him and 
Atticus, and his brother Quintus, and treats rather of the 
nature and origin of law, and how law should be made to 
prevail, than of laws as they had been as yet constructed 
for the governance of man. All that is said in the first 
book may be found scattered through his philosophic 
treatises. There are some pretty morsels, as when Atticus 
tells us that he will for the nonce allow Cicero's arguments 
to pass because the music of the birds and the waters will 
prevent his fellow Epicureans from hearing and being led 
away by mistaken doctrine. 1 Now and again he enunciates 
a great doctrine, as when he declares that " there is nothing 
better than that men should understand that they are born 
to be just, and that justice is not a matter of opinion, but 
is inherent in nature." 2 He constantly opposes the idea of 
pleasure, recurring to the doctrine of his Greek philosophy. 
It was not by them, however, that he had learned to feel 
that a man's final duty here on earth is his duty to other 

In the second book he inculcates the observance of reli- 
gious ceremonies in direct opposition to that which he after- 
wards tells us in his treatise " De Divinatione." But in this, 
"De Legibus," we may presume that he intends to give 
instructions for the guidance of the public, whereas in the 
other he is communicating to a few chosen friends those 
esoteric doctrines which it would be dangerous to give to the 
world at large. There is a charming passage in which we 

1 De Legibus, lib. i. ca. vii. 2 Ibid. lib. i ca. x. 


are told not to devote the rich things of the earth to the 

gods. Gold and silver will create impure desire. Ivory, 

taken from the body of an animal is a gift not simple enough 

for a god. Metals, such as iron, are for war rather than for 

worship. An image if it is to be used, let it be made of one 

bit of wood, or one block of stone. If cloth is given, let 

it not be more than a woman can make in a month. Let 

there be no bright colours. White is best for the gods ; 

and so on. 1 Here we have the wisdom of Plato, or of those 

from whom Plato had borrowed it, teaching us a lesson 

against which subsequent ages have rebelled. It is not only 

that a god cannot want our gold and silver, but that a man 

does want them. That rule as to the woman's morsel of 

cloth was given in some old assembly lest her husband, or 

her brother, should lose the advantage of her labour. It was 

seen what superstition would do in collecting the wealth of 

the world round the shrines of the gods. How many a man 

has since learned to regret the lost labour of his household ; 

and yet what god has been the better ? There may be a 

question of esthetics indeed with which Cicero does not 


In the third book he descends to practical and at the same 
time political questions. There had been no matter contested 
so vehemently among Romans as that of the establishment 
and maintenance of the Tribunate. Cicero defends its utility, 
giving with considerable wit, the task of attacking it to his 
brother Quintus. Quintus indeed is very violent in his 

1 De Legibus, lib. ii. ca. xviii. 


onslaught. What can be more " pestiferous," or more prone 
to sedition ? Then Cicero puts him down. " Quintus," 
he says, " you see clearly the vices of the Tribunate ; but 
can there be anything more unjust than in discussing a 
matter, to remember all its evils and to forget all its merits ! 
You might say the same of the Consuls. For the very 
possession of power is an evil in itself. But without that 
evil you cannot have the good which the institution contains. 
The power of the Tribunes is too great you say. Who denies 
it ? But the violence of the people, always cruel and im- 
modest, is less so under their own leader, than if no leader 
had been given them. The leader will measure his danger ; 
but the people itself know no such measurement." l He 
afterwards takes up the question of the ballot, and is 
against it on principle. " Let the people vote as they will," 
he says, " but let their votes be known to their betters." f ' 
It is, alas, useless now to discuss the matter here in England. 
We have been so impetuous in our wish to avoid the evil 
of bribery, which was quickly going, that we have rushed 
into that of dissimulation, which can only be made to go 
by revolutionary changes. When men vote by tens of 
thousands the ballot will be safe, but no man will then 
care for the ballot. It is, however, strange to see how 
familiar men were under the Eoman Empire with matters 
which are perplexing us to-day. 

We now come to the three purely moral essays, the last 
written of his works, except the Philippics and certain of 

1 De Legibus, lib. iii. ca. ix. and x. 2 Ibid. lib. iii. xvii. 


his letters, and the " Topica." Indeed when you reach the last 
year or two of his life, it becomes difficult to assign their 
exact places to each. He mentions one as written, and then 
another; but at last this latter appears before the former. 
They were all composed in the same year, the year before 
his death, the most active year of his life, as far as his written 
works are concerned, and I shall here treat " De Senectute " 
first, then " De Amicitia," and the " De Officiis " last, believing 
them to have been published in that order. 

The "De Senectute" is an essay written in defence of old 
age, generally called " Cato Major." It is supposed to 
have been spoken by the old Censor, 149, B.C., and to 
have been listened to by Scipio and Lselius. This was 
the same Scipio who had the dream, who in truth was not 
a Scipio at all, but a son of Paulus ^milius, whom we 
remember in history as the younger Africanus. Cato rushes 
at once into his subject, and proves to us his point by insist- 
ing on all those commonplace arguments which were probably 
as well known before his time as they have been since. All 
men wish for old age, but none rejoice when it has come. The 
answer is that no man really wishes for old age, but simply 
wishes for a long life, of which old age is the necessary 
ending. It creeps on us so quickly ! But in truth it does 
not creep quicker on youth, than does youth on infancy ; 
but the years seem to fly fast because not marked by 
distinct changes. It is the part of a wise man to see that 
each portion of his five-act poem shall be well performed. 
Cato goes on with his lesson and tells us perhaps all that 
could be said on behalf of old age, at that period of the 


world's history. It was written by an old man to an old 
man, for it is addressed to Atticus, who was now sixty- 
seven ; and of course deals much in commonplaces. But it is 
full of noble thoughts and is pleasant, and told in the easiest 
language ; and it leaves upon the reader a sweet savour 
of the dignity of age. Let the old man feel that it is not 
for him to attempt the pranks of youth, and he will already 
have saved himself from much of the evil which Time can do 
to him. I am ready for you, and you cannot hurt me. " Let 
not the old man assume the strength of the young, as a young 
man does not that of the bull or the elephant." " But still 
there is something to be regretted by an orator, for to talk well 
requires not only intellect but all the powers of the body. 
The melodious voice however remains, which, and you see 
my years, I have not yet lost. The voice of an old man 
should always be tranquil and contained. 1 He tells a story 
of Massinissa, who was then supposed to be ninety. He 
was stiff in his joints, and therefore when he went a journey 
had himself put upon a horse, and never left it, or started 
on foot and never mounted." 2 " We must resist old age, my 
Laslius. We must compensate our shortness by our diligence, 
my Scipio. As we fight against disease, so let us contend 
with old age." 3 " Why age should be avaricious I could 
never tell. Can there be anything more absurd than to 
demand so great a preparation for so small a journey ! " 4 He 
tells them that he knew their fathers, and that " he believes 
they are still alive, that though they have gone from this 

1 De Senectute, ca. ix. 2 Ibid., ca. x. 

3 Ibid. ca. xi. * Ibid. ca. xviii. 


earth, they are still leading that life which can only be 
considered worthy of the name." l 

The "De Amicitia" is called Lselius. It is put into the 
mouth of Lselius and is supposed to be a discourse on 
friendship held by him in the presence of his two sons-in-law 
Caius Fannius, and Mutius Scsevola, a few days after the 
death of Scipio his friend. Not Damon and Pythias were 
more renowned for their friendship than Scipio and Lselius. 
He discusses what is friendship, and why it is contracted ; 
among whom friendship should exist ; what should be its laws 
and duties, and lastly by what means it should be preserved. 

Cicero begins by telling the story of his own youth ; how 
he had been placed under the charge of Scsevola the augur, 
and how, having changed his toga, he never left the old 
man's side till he died ; and he recalls how once sitting witli 
him in a circle w T ith friends, Scsevola fell into that mode of 
conversation which was usual with him, and told him how 
once Lselius had discoursed to them on friendship. It is 
from first to last fresh and green and cooling, as is the 
freshness of the early summer grass to men who live in 
cities. The reader feels as he goes on with it that he who 
had such thoughts and aspirations could never have been 
altogether unhappy. Coming at the end of his life, in the 
telling the stories of which we have had to depend so much 
on his letters to Atticus, it reminds me of the love that 
existed between them. He has sometimes been querulous 
with his Atticus. He has complained of bad advice, of 

1 De Senectuto ca. xxi. 


deficient care, of halting friendship, in reading which 
accusations we have, all of us, declared him to be wrong. 
But Atticus understood him. He knew that the privileges 
and the burden must go together, and told himself how much 
more than sufficient were the privileges to compensate the 
burden. When we make our histories on the bases of such 
loving letters, we should surely open them with careful 
hands, and deal with them in sympathy with their spirit. 
In writing this treatise " De Amicitia," especially for the 
eyes of Atticus, how constantly the heart must have gone 
back to all that had passed between them, how confident 
he must have been of the truth of his friend ! He who after 
nearly half a century of friendship could thus write to his 
friend on friendship cannot have been an unhappy man. 

" Should a new friendship spring up," he tells us, " let it 
not be repressed. You shall still gather fruit from young 
trees. But do not let it take the place of the old. Age and 
custom will have given the old fruit a flavour of its own. 
Who is there that would ride a new horse, in preference to 
one tried, one who knows your hand ? " l 

I regard the " De Officiis " as one of the most perfect 
treatises on morals which the world possesses, whether for 
the truth of the lessons given, for their universality, or for 
the beauty and lightness of the language. It is on a subject 
generally heavy, but is treated with so much art and grace as 
to make it a delight to have read it, and an important part of 
education to know it. It is addressed to his son, and is as good 

1 De Ainicitia, ca. xix. 


now as when it was written. There is not a precept taught in 
it which is not modern as well as ancient, and which is not 
fit alike for Christians and Pagans. A system of morality, we 
might have said, should be one which would suit all men 
alike. We are bound to acknowledge that this will suit only 
gentlemen, because he who shall live in accordance with it 
must be worthy of that name. The " honestum " means much 
more in Latin than it does in English. Neither " honour " nor 
" honesty " will give the rendering, not that honour or that 
honesty which we know. Modern honour flies so high that 
it leaves honesty sometimes too nearly out of sight. While 
honesty though a sterling virtue, ignores those sentiments 
on which honour is based. "Honestum" includes it all. 
And Cicero has raised his lessons to such a standard as to 
comprise it all. But he so teaches that listeners delight 
to hear. He never preaches. He does not fulminate his 
doctrine at you, bidding you beware of backslidings and of 
punishments. But he leads you with him along the grassy 
path, till you seem to have found out for yourself what is 
good, you and he together, and together to have learned 
that which is manly, graceful, honest, and decorous. 

In Cicero's essays is to be found always a perfect with- 
drawal of himself from the circumstances of the world around 
him ; so that the reader shall be made to suppose that, in the 
evening of his life, having reached at last by means of work 
done for the State a time of blessed rest, he gives forth the 
wisdom of his age, surrounded by all that a tranquil world 
can bestow upon him. Look back through the treatises 
written during the last two years, and each shall appear to 


have been prepared in some quiet and undisturbed period 
of his life. But we know that the last polish given by his 
own hands to these three books " De Officiis " was added 
amidst the heat and turmoils of the Philippics. It is so 
singular, this power of adapting his mind to whatever 
pursuit he will, that we are taught almost to think that 
there must have been two Ciceros and that the one was 
eager in personal conflict with Antony, while the other was 
seated in the garden of some Italian villa meditating words 
by obeying which all men might be ennobled. 

In the dialectical disputations of the Greek philosophers he 
had picked up a mode of dividing his subject into numbers 
which is hardly fitted for a discourse so free and open as is 
this. We are therefore somewhat offended when we are told 
that virtue is generally divided " into three headings." 1 If 
it be so, and if it be necessary that we should know it, it 
should, I think, be conveyed to us without this attempt at 
logical completeness. It is impossible to call this a fault. 
Accuracy must indeed be in all writers a virtue. But feeling 
myself to be occasionally wounded by this numbering, I 
mention it. In the " De Officiis " he divides the entire matter 
into three parts, and to each part he devotes a book. In the 
first he considers whether a thing is fit to be done or left 
undone, that is, whether it be "honestum" or " turpe " ; 
in the second, whether it be expedient, that is " utile," or the 
reverse; and in the third he compares the "honestum" and 
the " utile," and tells us what to choose and what to avoid. 

1 De Officiis, lib. ii. ca. v. 


The duty due by a citizen to his country takes with him a 
place somewhat higher than we accord to it. " Parents are 
dear, children are dear to us ; so are relations and friends ; 
but our country embraces it all, for what good man would not 
die so that he might serve it ? How detestable then, is the 
barbarity of those who wound their country at every turn, 
and have been and are occupied in its destruction." 1 He 
gives us some excellent advice as to our games, which 
might be read with advantage, perhaps, by those who row 
in our university races. But at the end of it he tells us 
that the hunting field affords an honest and fitting recreation. 2 
I have said that he was modern in his views, but not 
altogether modern. He defends the suicide of Cato. " To 
them," he says, speaking of Gate's companions in Africa, " it 
might not have been forgiven. Their life was sbfter and 
their manners easier. But to Cato nature had given an 
invincible gravity of manners which he had strengthened 
with all the severity of his will. He had always remained 
steadfast in the purpose that he would never stand face to 
face with the tyrant of his country." 3 There was something 
terribly grand in Cato's character which loses nothing in 
coming to us from the lips of Cicero. So much Cicero 
allows to the stern nature of the man's character. Let us 

1 De Off. lib. i. ca. xvii. 

2 Ibid. ca. xxix. "Suppeditant autem et campus noster et studia vcnandi, 
honesta cxempla ludendi." The passage is quoted here as an antidote to that 
extracted some time since from one of his letters which lias been used to show 
that hunting was no occupation for a "polite man," as he, Cicero, had 
disapproved of Pompey's slaughter of animals on his new stage. 

3 De Off. lib. i. ca. xxxi. 


look back and we shall find that we make the same 
allowance. This is not, in truth, a lesson which he gives 
us, but an apology which he makes. 

Eead his advice given in the following line for the outward 
demeanour of a gentleman. " There are two kinds of beauty. 
The one is loveliness, which is a woman's gift. But dignity 
belongs to the man. Let all ornament be removed from the 
person not worthy of a man to wear, and all fault in 
gesture and in motion which is like to it. The manners of 
the wrestling-ground and of the stage are sometimes odious ; 
but let us see the actor or the wrestler walking simple 
and upright, and we praise him. Let him use a befitting 
neatness, not verging towards the effeminate, but just avoid- 
ing a rustic harshness. The same measure is to be taken 
with your clothes, as with other matters in which a middle 
course is best." * 

1 De Off. lib. i. ca. xxxvi. It is impossible not to be reminded -by this 
passage of Lord Chesterfield's letters to his son, written with the same object ; 
but we can see at once that the Roman desired in his son a much higher 
type of bearing than the Englishman. The following is the advice given by 
the Englishman : "A thousand little things not separately to be defined, 
conspire to form these graces, this 'je ne saisquoi' that always pleases. 
A pretty person, genteel motions, a proper degree of dress, an harmonious 
voice, something open and cheerful in the countenance, but without laughing ; 
;i distinct and properly raised manner of speaking ; all these things and many 
others, are necessary ingredients in the composition of the pleasing 'je ne sais 
quoi ' which everybody feels, though nobody can describe. Observe care- 
fully, then, what displeases or pleases you in others, and be persuaded that, 
in general, the same thing will please or displease them in you. Having 
mentioned laughing, I must particularly warn you against it ; and I could 
wish that you may often be seen to smile but never heard to laugh while 
you live." I feel sure that Cicero would laugh and was heard to laugh ; 
and yet that he was always true to the manners of a gentleman. 

C C 2 


Then he tells his son what pursuits are to be regarded as 
sordid. " Those sources of gain are to be regarded as mean in 
the pursuit of which men are apt to be offended ; as are the 
business of tax-gatherers and usurers. All these are to be 
regarded as illiberal to which men bring their work, but not 
their art." As for instance, the painter of a picture shall be 
held to follow a liberal occupation, but not so the picture- 
dealer. " They are sordid who buy from merchants that they 
may sell again. They have to lie like the mischief or they 
cannot make their living. All mere workmen are engaged 
in ignoble employment. What of grandeur can the mere 
workshop produce ? Least of all can those trades be said 
to be good which administer only to our pleasures, such as 
fishmongers, butchers, cooks, and poulterers." 1 He adds at 
the end of his list, that of all employment none is better 
than agriculture, or more worthy of the care of a free man. 
In all of this it is necessary that we should receive what he 
says with some little allowance for the difference in time ; but 
there is nothing, if we look closely into it, in which we 
cannot see the source of noble ideas, and the reason for 
many notions which are now departing from us, whether 
for good or evil who shall say ? 

In the beginning of the second book he apologises for his 
love of philosophy, as he calls it, saying that he knew 
how it had been misliked among those round him. " But 
when the Republic," he says, "had ceased to be, that 
Republic which had been all my care, my employment 

1 De Off. lib. i. ca xlii. 


ceased both in the Forum and the Senate. But when my 
mind absolutely refused to be inactive, I thought that I might 
best live down the misery of the time if I devoted myself 
to philosophy." 1 From this we may see how his mind had 
worked when the old occupation of his life was gone. "Nihil 
agere autem quum animus non posset ! " How piteous was 
his position, and yet how proud ! There was nothing for 
him to do, but there was nothing because hitherto there 
had been so much that he had always done. 

He tells his son plainly how an honest man must live. To 
be ashamed of nothing he must do nothing of which he will 
be ashamed. But for him there is this difficulty. " If any 
one on his entrance into the world has had laid upon him 
the greatness of a name, won by his father let us say, as, 
my Cicero, has perhaps happened to you, the eyes of all 
men will be cast upon him, and inquiry will be made as to 
his mode of life. He will be so placed under the meridian 
sun, that no word spoken or deed done by him shall be 
hidden." 2 "He must live up to the glory to which he has 
been born." He gives to his son mucn advice about the bar. 
" But the greatest praise," he says, " conies from defending a 
man accused; and especially so when you shall assist one who 
is surrounded and ill treated by the power of some great man. 
This happened to me more than once in my youth, when, for 
instance, I defended Roscius Amerinus against Sulla's power. 
The speech is with us, extant still." 3 He tells us much as to 
the possession of money and the means of insuring it in a 

1 De Off. lib. ii. 1. - Ibid. lib. ii. ca. xiii. 

3 Ibid. ca. xiv. 


well governed state. " Take care that you allow no debts, to 
the injury of the Eepublic. You must guard against this at 
all hazards but never by taking from the rich and giving it 
to the poor. Nothing is so requisite to the State as public 
credit, which cannot exist unless debtors be made to pay 
what they owe. There was nothing to which I looked more 
carefully than this when I was Consul. Horse and foot, 
they tried their best; but I opposed them, and freed the 
Eepublic from the threatened evil. Never were debts more 
easily or more quickly collected. When men knew that they 
could not ignore their creditors, then they paid. But he, 
who was then the conquered is the conqueror now. He has 
effected what he contemplated, even though it be not now 
necessary for him." l From this passage it seems that these 
books must have been first written before Csesar's death, 
Csesar, at the time of Catiline's conspiracy had endeavoured 
to annul all debts, that is to establish " new tables " accord- 
ing to the Eoman idiom ; but had failed by Cicero's efforts. 
He had since effected it, although he might have held his 
power without seeking for the assistance of such debtors. 
Who could that be but Caesar ? In the beginning of the 
third book there is another passage declaring the same thing. 
" I have not strength enough for silent solitude, and there- 
fore give myself up to my pen. In the short time since the 
Eepublic has been overturned, I have written more than in 
all my former years." 2 That again he could not have written 
after Coeaar had fallen. We are left indeed to judge from 

1 De Off. lib. ii. ca. xxiv. 

2 Ibid. lib. iii. ca. i 


the whole nature of the discourse, that it was written at 
the period in which the wrongs done by Cresar to Borne, 
wrongs at any rate as they appeared to Cicero, were just 
culminating in that regal pride of action which led to his 
slaughter. It was written then, "but was published a few 
months afterwards. 



I SHOULD have hardly thought it necessary to devote a 
chapter of my book to the religion of a pagan had I not, 
while studying Cicero's life, found that I was not dealing with 
a pagan's mind. The mind of the Eoman who so lived as 
to cause his life to be written in after times was at this 
period, in most instances, nearly a blank as to any ideas 
of a God. Horace is one who in his writing speaks much 
of himself. Ovid does so still more constantly. They are 
both full of allusions to " the gods." They are both aware 
that it is a good thing to speak with respect of the national 
worship and that the orders of the Emperor will be best 
obeyed by believers. " Dis te minorem quod geris, imperas," 
says Horace, when, in obedience probably to Augustus, he 
tells his fellow citizens that they are forgetting their duties 
in their unwillingness to pay for the repairs of the temples. 
" Superi, quorum sumus omnia," says Ovid, thinking it well 
to show in one of his writings which he sent home from 
his banishment that he still entertained the fashionable creed. 
But they did not believe. It was at that time the fashion 
to pretend a light belief, in order that those below might 
live as though they believed, and might induce an absolute 


belief in the women and the children. It was not well that 
the temple of the gods should fall into ruins. It was not 
well that the augurs, who were gentlemen of high family, 
should go for nothing. Caesar himself was the High Priest 
and thought much of the position, hut he certainly was 
hound by no priestcraft. A religious belief was not expected 
from a gentleman. Eeligious ceremonies had gradually sunk 
so low in the world's esteem that the Roman nobility had 
come to think of their gods as things to swear by, or things 
to amuse them, or things from which, if times were bad with 
them, some doubtful assistance might perchance come. In 
dealing with ordinary pagans of those days religion may 
be laid altogether on one side. I remember no passage in 
Livy or Tacitus indicating a religious belief. 

But with Cicero my mind is full of such, and they are 
of a nature to make me feel that had he lived a hundred 
years later I should have suspected him of some hidden 
knowledge of Christ's teachings. M. Eenan has reminded 
us of Cicero's dislike to the Jews. He could not learn from 
the Jews, though the Jew, indeed, had much that he could 
teach him. The religion which he required was far from the 
selfishness of either Jew or Roman. He believed in eternity, 
in the immortality of the soul, in virtue for the sake of its 
reward hereafter, in the omnipotence of God, the performance 
of his duty to his neighbours, in conscience and in honesty. 
" Certum esse in cselo definitum locum, ubi beati aevo sempi- 
terno fruantur." l " There is certainly a place in heaven 

1 De Eepublica, lib. vi. It is useless to give the chapters, as the treatise, 
being fragmentary, is differently divided in different editions. 


where the blessed shall enjoy eternal life." Can St. Paul 
have expressed with more clearness his belief as to a heaven ? 
Earlier in his" career he expresses in language, less definite, 
but still sufficiently clear, his ideas as to another world. 
"An vero tarn parvi animi videamur esse omnes, qui in 
republica, atque in his vitas periculis laboribusque versamur, 
ut, quum, usque ad extremum spatium, nullum tranquillum 
atque otiosum spiritum duxerimus, vobiscum simul moritura 
omnia arbitremur ? l " Are we all of us so poor in spirit 
as to think that after toiling for our country and ourselves, 
though we have not had one moment of ease here upon 
earth, when we die all things shall die with us ? " And 
when he did go it should be to that glory for which virtue 
shall have trained him. " Neque te sermonibus vulgi dederis, 
nee in praimis humanis spem posueris rerum tuarum ; suis 
te oportet illecebris ipsa virtus trahat ad verum decus." 5 
" You shall put your hope neither in man's opinion nor in 
human rewards ; but virtue itself by her own charms shall 
lead you the way to true glory." He thus tells us his idea of 
God's omnipotence. " Quam vim animum esse dicunt mundi, 
eamdemque esse mentem sapientiamque perfectam ; quern 
Deum appellant." 3 " This force they call the soul of the 
world, and looking on it as perfect in intelligence and 
wisdom, they name it their God." And again he says, speak- 
ing of God's care, " Quis enim potest, quam existimet a cleo 
se curari, non et dies, et noctes divinum numen horrere ? " 4 
"Who is there when he thinks that a God is taking care 

1 Ad Arcliiam, en. xii. 2 De Kepublica, lib. vi. 

3 Academica, 2, lib. i. ca. vii. 4 Academica. 1, lib. ii. ca. xxxviii. 


of him shall not live day and night in awe of his divine 
majesty ? " As to man's duty to his neighbour, a subject as 
to which Pagans before and even after the time of Cicero 
seem to have had but vague ideas, the treatise " De Officiis " 
is full of it, as indeed is the whole course of his life. 
" Omne officium, quod ad conjunctionem hominum et ad 
societatem tuendam valet, anteponendum est illi officio, quod 
cognitione et scientia continetur." l " All duty which tends 
to protect the society of man with men is to be preferred 
to that of which science is the simple object." His belief 
in a conscience is shown in the law he lays down against 
suicide. "Vetat enim dominans ille in nobis deus, injussu 
hinc nos suo demigrare." 2 " That God within us forbids 
us to depart hence without his permission." As to justice 
I need give no quotation from his works as proof of that 
virtue which all his works have been written to uphold. 

This pagan had his ideas of God's governance of men, and 
of man's required obedience to his God, so specially implanted 
in his heart that he who undertakes to write his life should 
not pass it by unnoticed. To us our religion has come as a 
thing to believe, though taking too often the form of a stern 
duty. We have had it from our fathers and our mothers; 
and though it has been given to us by perhaps indifferent 
hands, still it has been given. It has been there with all 
its written laws, a thing to live by, if we choose. Eich and 
poor, the majority of us, know at any rate the Lord's prayer, 
and most of us have repeated it regularly during our lives. 

1 De Officiis, lib. i. ca. xliv. 2 Tusc. Disputationes, lib. i. ca. xxx. 


There are not many of us who have not learned that they 
are deterred by something beyond the law from stealing, 
from murder, from committing adultery. All Eome and all 
Eomans knew nothing of any such obligation, unless it 
might be that some few like Cicero, found it out from the 
recesses of their own souls. He found it out certainly. " Suis 
te oportet illecebris ipsa virtus trahat ad verum decus." 
" Virtue itself by its own charms shall lead you the way to 
true glory." The words to us seem to be quite common- 
place. There is not a curate who might not put them into 
a sermon. But in Cicero's time they were new, and hitherto 
untaught. There was the old Greek philosopher's idea that 
the TO Ka\6v, the thing of beauty, was to be found in 
virtue, and that it would make a man altogether happy if 
he got a hold of it. But there was no God connected with 
it, no future life, no prospect sufficient to redeem a man from 
the fear of death. It was leather and prunello, that, from 
first to last. The man had to die and go, melancholy, across 
the Styx. But Cicero was the first to tell his brother Eomans 
of an intelligible heaven. " Certum esse in ccelo definitum 
locum ubi beati asvo sempiterno fruantur." " There is 
certainly a place in heaven where the blessed shall enjoy 
eternal life." And then how nearly he had realised that 
doctrine which tells us that we should do unto others as we 
would they should do unto us, the very pith and marrow 
and inside meaning of Christ's teaching, by adapting which 
we have become human, by neglecting which we revert to 
paganism. When we look back upon the world without this 
law, we see nothing good in it, in spite of individual great- 


ness and national honour. But Cicero had found it. " That 
brotherhood between men, that agreement as to what may 
be useful to all, and that general; love for the human race ! " 1 
It is all contained in these few words, but if anything be 
wanted to explain at length our duty to our neighbours it 
will be found there on reference to this passage. How 
different has been the world before that law was given to us 
and since! Even the existence of that law though it be 
not obeyed has softened the hearts of men. 

If, as some think, it be the purport of Christ's religion to 
teach men to live after a godlike fashion rather than to 
worship God after a peculiar form, then may we be allowed 

say that Cicero was almost a Christian, even before the 
coming of Christ. If, as some think, an eternity of improved 
existence for all is to be looked for by the disciples of 
Christ, rather than a heaven of glory for the few and for the 
many a hell that never shall be mitigated, then had Cicero 
anticipated much of Christ's doctrine. That he should have 
approached the mystical portion of our religion it would of 
course be absurd to suppose. But a belief in that mystical 
part is not essential for forming the conduct of men. The 
divine birth, and the doctrine of the Trinity, and the Lord's 
Supper, are not necessary to teach a man to live with his 
brother men on terms of forbearance and brotherly love. 
You shall live with a man from year's end to year's end 
and shall not know his creed unless he tell you, or that 
you see him performing the acts of his worship. But you 

1 De Finibus, lib. v. ca. xxiii. 


cannot live with him, and not know whether he live in 
accordance with Christ's teaching. And so it was with 
Cicero. Eead his works through from the beginning to the 
end, and you shall feel that you are living with a man whom 
you might accompany across the village green to church, 
should he be kind enough to stay with you over the Sunday. 
The urbanity, the softness, the humanity, the sweetness are 
all there. But you shall not find it to be so with Caesar, or 
Lucretius, or with Virgil. When you read his philosophical 
treatises it is as though you were discussing with some latter- 
day scholar the theories of Plato or of Epicurus. He does 
not talk of them as though he believed in them for his soul's 
guidance ; nor do you expect it. All the interest that you 
have in the conversation would be lost were you to find such 
faith as that. You would avoid the man, as a pagan. 
The Stoic doctrine would so shock you, when brought out 
for real wear, as to make you feel yourself in the company 
of some mad Atheist, with a man for whose welfare, early 
or late in life, church bells had never been rung. But with 
a man who has his Plato simply by heart you can spend the 
long summer day in sweet conversation. So it is with Cicero. 
You lie down with him looking out upon the sea at Cuma3, 
or sit with him beneath the plane-tree of Crassus, and listen 
while he tells you of this doctrine and the other. So Arcesilas 
may be supposed to have said ; and so Carneades laid down 
the law. It was that and no more. But when he tells you 
of the place assigned to you in heaven and how you are to 
win it, then he is in earnest. 

We care in general but little for any teacher of religion 


who has not struggled to live up to his own teaching. Cicero 
has told us of his ideas of the Godhead, and has given us 
his theory as to those deeds by which a man may hope to 
achieve the heaven in which that God will reward with 
everlasting life those who have deserved such bliss. Love of 
country comes first with him. It behoves, at any rate, a man 
to be true to his country from first to last. And honesty 
and honour come next, that " honestum " which carries him 
to something beyond the mere integrity of the well-con- 
ducted tradesmen. Then family affection ; then friendship ; 
and then that constant love for our fellow creatures which 
teaches us to do unto others as we would they should do 
unto us. Running through these there are a dozen smaller 
virtues, but each so mingled with the other as to have failed 
in obtaining a separate place ; dignity, manliness, truth, 
mercy, long-suffering, forgiveness, and humanity. 

Try him by these all round and see how he will come out 
of the fire. He so loved his country that we may say that 
he lived for it entirely, that from the first moment in which 
he began to study as a boy in Home the great profession of 
an advocate to the last in which he gave his throat to his 
murderers, there was not a moment in which his heart did 
not throb for it. 

In the defence of Amerinus and in the prosecution of 
Verres, his object was to stop the proscriptions, to shame 
the bench and to punish the plunderers of the provinces. 
In driving out Catiline the same strong feeling governed 
him. It was the same in Cilicia. The same patriotism 
drove him to follow Pompey to the seat of war. The same 


filled him with almost youthful energy when the final battle 
for the Eepublic came. It has been said of him that he 
began life as a Liberal in attacking Sulla, and that afterwards 
he became a Conservative when he gained the Consulship ; that 
he opposed Caesar, and then flattered him, and then rejoiced 
at his death. I think that they who have so accused him 
have hardly striven to read his character amidst the changes 
of the time. A Conservative he was always ; but he wished 
to see that the things around him were worth conserving. He 
was always opposed to Csesar, whose genius and whose spirit 
were opposed to his own. But in order that something of 
the Eepublic might be preserved, it became necessary to bear 
with Caesar. For himself he would take nothing from Caesar, 
except permission to breathe Italian air. He flattered him 
as was the Eoman custom. He had to do that or his presence 
would have been impossible, and he could always do 
something by his presence. As far as love of country went, 
which among virtues stood the first with him, he was pure 
and great. There was not a moment in his career in which 
the feeling was not in his heart, mixed indeed with personal 
ambition as must be necessary, for how shall a man show 
his love for his country except by his desire to stand high in 
its counsels ? To be called " Pater Patriae " by Cato was to 
his ears the sweetest music he had ever heard. 

Let us compare his honesty with that of the times in 
which he lived. All the high rewards of the State were at 
his command, and he might so have taken them as to have 
been safer, firmer, more powerful, by taking them. But he 
took nothing. No gorgeous wealth from a Eoman province 


stuck to his hands. We think of our Cavendishes, our 
Howards, and our Stanleys, and feel that there is nothing 
in such honesty as this. But the Cavendishes, the Howards, 
and the Stanleys of those days robbed with unblushing 
pertinacity. Caesar robbed so much that he put himself 
above all question of honesty. Where did he, who had been 
so greatly in debt before he went to Spain, get the million 
with which he bribed his adherents ? Cicero neither bought 
nor sold. Twenty little stories have been told of him, 
not one with a grain of enduring truth to justify one of them. 
He borrowed, and he always paid. He lent, but was not 
always repaid. With such a voice to sell as his, a voice 
which carried with it the verdict of either guilt or innocence, 
what payments would it not have been worth the while of 
a Eoman nobleman to make to him? No such payments, 
as far as we can tell, were ever made. He took a present of 
books from his friend Foetus, and asked another friend what 
" Cincius " would say to it ? Men struggling to find him 
out, and not understanding his little joke, have said, " Lo ! he 
has been paid for his work ! He defended Foetus and Foetus 
gave him books." " Did he defend Foetus ? " you ask. " We 
surmise so ; because he gave him books," they reply. I 
say that at any rate the fault should be brought home 
against him before it is implied from chance passages in 
his own letters. 

Cicero's affection for his family gives us an entirely un- 
familiar insight into Koman manners. There is a softness, 
a tenderness, an eagerness about it, such as would give a 
grace to the life of some English nobleman who had his 



heart garnered up for him at home, though his spirit was 
at work for his country. But we do not expect this from 
the Pompeys and Caesars and Catos of Borne, perhaps 
because we do not know them as we know Cicero. It is 
odd, however, that we should have no word of love for his 
boys, as to Pompey ; -no word of love for his daughter, as 
to Csesar. But Cicero's love for his wife, his brother, his son, 
his nephew, especially for his daughter was unbounded. All 
offences on their part he could forgive, till there came his 
wife's supposed dishonesty which was not to be forgiven. 
The ribaldry of Dio Cassius has polluted the story of his 
regard for Tullia; but in truth we know nothing sweeter 
in the records of great men, nothing which touches us more, 
than the profundity of his grief. His readiness to forgive 
his brother and to forgive his nephew, his anxiety to take 
them back to his affections, his inability to live without them, 
tell of his tenderness. 

His friendship for Atticus was of the same calibre. It was 
of that nature that it could not only bear hard words but 
could occasionally give them without fear of a breach. Can 
any man read the records of this long affection without wish- 
ing that he might be blessed with such a friendship? As 
to that love of our fellow creatures which comes not from 
personal liking for them but from that kindness of heart 
towards all mankind which has been the fruit to us of 
Christ's teaching, that desire to do unto others as they should 
do unto us, his whole life is an example. When Quaestor 
in Sicily his chief duty was to send home corn. He did 
send it home, but so, that he hurt none of those in Sicily 


by whom it was supplied. In his letter to his "brother as 
to his government of Asia Minor the lessons which he teaches 
are to the same effect. When he was in Cilicia it was the 
same from first to last. He would not take a penny from 
the poor provincials, not even what he might have taken 
by law. " Non modo non faenum, sed ne ligna quidem ! " 
Where did he get the idea that it was a good thing not to 
torment the poor wretches that were subjected to his power ? 
Why was it that he took such an un-Koman pleasure in 
making the people happy ? 

Cicero no doubt was a pagan, and in accordance with the 
rules prevailing in such would be necessary to 
describe him of that religion, if his religion be brought under 
discussion. But he has not written as pagans wrote, nor 
did he act as they acted. The educated intelligence of the 
Eoman world had come to repudiate their gods, and to create 
for itself a belief, in nothing. It was easier for a thought- 
ful man, and pleasanter for a thoughtless, to believe in 
nothing, than in Jupiter and Juno, in Venus and in Mars. 
But when there came a man of intellect so excellent as to 
find, when rejecting the gods of his country, that there 
existed for him the necessity of a real God, and to recognise 
it as a fact that the intercourse of man with man demanded 
it, we must not in recording the facts of his life, pass over 
his religion as though it were simple chance. Christ came 
to us, and we do not need another teacher. Christ came 
to us so perfected in manhood as to be free from blemish. 
Cicero did not come at all as a teacher. He never recognised 
the possibility of teaching men a religion, or probably the 

D D 2 


necessity. Rut he did see the way to so much of the truth, 
as to perceive that there was a heaven ; that the way to 
it must be found in good deeds here on earth ; and that 
the good deeds required of him would be kindness to 
others. Therefore I have written this final chapter on his 



(See page 375, Vol. II.) 


SciPio the younger, had gone when in Africa to meet Massinissa, and 
had there discussed with the African king the character of his nominal 
grandfather, for he was in fact the son of Paulus ^Emilius and had 
been adopted by the son of the great conqueror at Zama. He had then 
retired to rest, and had dreamed a dream, and is thus made to tell it. 
Africanus the elder had shown himself to him, greater than life, and 
had spoken to him .in the following words. "Approach," said the 
ghost ; " approach in spirit, and cease to fear, and write down on the 
tablets of your memory this that I shall tell you. 

" Look down upon that city. I compelled it to obey Rome. It now 
seeks to renew its former strife, and you, but yet new to arms, have 
come to conquer it." Then from his starry heights he points to the 
once illustrious Carthage. " In twice twelve months that city you 
shall conquer, and shall have earned for yourself that name which 
by descent has become yours. Destroyer of Carthage, triumphant, 
Censor, ambassador from Home to Egypt, Syria, Asia and Greece, you 
shall be chosen Consul a second time, though absent, and having 
besieged Numantia shall bring a great war to an end " . . . . " Then 
will the whole State turn to you and to your name. The Senate, the 
citizens, the allies will expect you. In one word it will be to you as 
Dictator that the Republic will look to be saved from the crimes of 
your relatives. 

" But that you may be always alive to protect the Republic, 
know this. There is in heaven a special place of bliss for those who 
have served their country. To that God who looks down upon the earth 


there is nothing dearer than men bound to each other by reverence for 
the laws." 

" Then, frightened, I asked him whether he were still living, and my 
father Paulus, and others whom we believed to have departed. 'In 
truth,' he said, ' they live who have escaped from the bondage of the 
flesh. This which you call life is death. But behold Paulus your 
father.' Beholding him I poured forth a world of tears, but he, 
embracing me, forbade me to weep. 

" ' Since this of yours is life as my grandsire tells me,' I said as soon 
as my tears allowed me to speak, ' why, father most revered, do I 
delay here on earth, rather than haste to meet you?' 'It cannot be 
BO,' he answered. ' Unless that God whose temple is around you 
everywhere shall have liberated you from the chains of the body, you 
cannot come to us. Men are begotten subject to his law, and inhabit 
the globe which is called the earth ; and to them is given a soul from 
among the stars, perfect in their form and alive with heavenly instincts, 
which complete with wondrous speed their rapid courses. Wherefore, 
my son, by you and by all just men, that soul must be retained within 
its body's confines, nor can it be allowed to flit without command of him 
by whom it has been given to you. You may not escape the duty 
which God has trusted to you. Live, my Scipio, and shine with piety 
and justice as your grandfather did, and I have done. It is your duty to 
your parents and to your relatives ; but especially your duty to you r 
country. There lies the road to heaven. By following that course 
shall you find your way to those who crowd with deseinbodied spirits 
the realm beneath your eyes.' 

"Then did I behold that splendid circle of fire which you after the 
Greeks call the Milky Way, and looking out from thence could see that 
all things were beautiful and all wonderful. There were stars which 
we cannot see from hence, and others of tremendous unsuspected size ; 
and then those smaller ones, nearest to us which shine with a reflected 
light. But every star among them all loomed larger than our earth. 
That seemed so mean, that I was sorry to belong to so small an empire. 

"As I gazed a sound struck my ears. 'What music is that,' said 
I, ' swelling so loudly and yet so sweet ? ' 

" ' It is that harmony of the stars,' he said, ' which the world creates 


by its own movement. Low and loud, base and treble, they clang 
together with unequal intervals, but each in time and tune. They 
could not work in silence, and nature demands that from one end of 
heaven to the other they shall be sonorous with a deep diapason. The 
far off give a loud treble twang. Those nearest to the moon sound low 
and base. The earth, the ninth in order, immovable upon its lowest' 
seat, occupies the centre of the system. From the eight there come 
seven sounds, distinct' among themselves, Venus and Mercury join- 
ing in one effort. In that number is the secret of all human affairs. 
Learned men have made their way to heaven by imitating this music ; 
as have others also by the excellence of their studies. Filled with 
this sound the sense of hearing has failed among men. What sense 
is duller ? It is as when the Nile falls down to her cataracts, and the 
nations around, astonished by the tumult, become deaf.' 

"'Then,' said Africanus, 'look and see how small are the habita- 
tions of men, how grand are those of the angels of light. What fame 
can you expect from men, or what glory ? You see how they live in 
mean places, in small spots, lonely amidst vast solitudes ; and that 
they who inhabit them dwell so isolated that nothing can pass between 
them. Can you expect glory from them ? 

" ' You behold this earth surrounded by zones. You see two of them, 
frozen from their poles, have been made solid with everlasting ice ; and 
how the centre realm between them has been scorched by the sun's 
rays. Two, however, are fit for life. They who inhabit the southern, 
whose footsteps are opposed to ours, are a race of whom we know 
nothing. But, see, how small a part of this little earth is inhabited by 
us who are turned towards the north. For all the earth which you 
inhabit, wide and narrow, is but a small island surrounded by that sea 
which you call the great Atlantic Ocean, which however large as you 
deem it, how small it is ! Has your name or has mine been able, over 
this small morsel of the earth's surface to ascend mount Caucasus or 
to cross the Ganges ? Who in the regions of the rising or setting sun has 
heard of our fame ? Cut off these regions, distant but a hand's breadth, 
and see within what narrow borders will your reputation be spread ! 
They who speak of you, for how short a time will their voices be 
heard ? 


" ' Grant, thatfman, unenvious, shall wish to hand down your fame to 
future ages, still there will come those storms of nature. The earth will 
be immersed in water and scorched with fire, a doom which in the course 
of ages must happen, and will deny to you any lasting glory. Will 
you be content that they who are to come only shall hear of you, when 
to those crowds of better men who have passed away your name shall 
be as nothing ? 

" 'And remember too that no man's renown shall reach the duration 
of a year. Men call that space a year which they measure by the 
return of a single star to its old place. But when all the stars shall 
have come back, and shall have made their course across the heavens, 
then, then shall that truly be called a year. In this year how many are 
there of our ages contained. For as when Romulus died and made his 
way here to these temples of the gods, the sun was seen by man to 
fade away, so will the sun again depart from the heavens, when the 
stars having accomplished their spaces shall have returned to their 
old abodes. Of this, the true year, not a twentieth part has been as yet 
consumed. If then you despair of reaching this abode, which all of 
true excellence strive to approach, what glory is there to be gained ? 
When gained it will not last the space of one year. Look then aloft, 
my son, and fix your eyes upon this eternal home. Despise all vulgar 
fame, nor place your hopes on human rewards. Let virtue by her own 
charms lead you on to true glory. Let men talk of you, for talk they 
will. Man's talk of man is small in its space, and short-lived in its 
time. It dies with a generation and is forgotten by posterity.' 

" When he had spoken I thus answered him, ' Africanus,' I said, 
' I indeed have hitherto endeavoured to find a road to heaven, following 
your example and my fathers ; but now, for so great a reward, will 
I struggle on more bravely.' ' Struggle on,' he replied, ' and know 
this, not that thou art mortal, but only this thy body. This frail form 
is not thyself. It is the mind, invisible, and not a shape at which a man 
may point with his fingers. Know thyself to be a God. To be strong in 
purpose and in mind ; to remember to provide and to rule ; to restrain 
and to move the body it is placed over, as the great God does the world, 
that is to be a God. And as the God who moves this mortal world 
is eternal, so does an eternal soul govern this frail body.' " 



" ABUT, excessit, evasit, erupit, " vol. 

i., 274 
Abeken, German.biographer of Cicero, 

vol. ii., 41 
"Academjca," The, rol. i., 33 ; vol. 

ii., 304, 341 
Actio Prima, In Verrem, vol. i., 

Actio Secunda, In Verrem, [vol. i., 


Aculeo, Cicero's uncle, vol. i., 44 
Adjournments, on account of games 

in the trial of Verres, vol. i., 161 
Advocate, duty in Rome, vol. i., 97, 

196 ; his duties, vol. ii., 389 
^Edile, Cicero as, vol. i., 192 
"^Estimatum," tax on corn in Sicily, 

vol. i., 180 
Agrarian law, twospeeches, vol.i., 227; 

two supplementary speeches, 228 
Ai'8eo,uat Tpcaas, vol. i., 347 
Allobroges, their ambassadors, vol. i., 

277 ; alluded to by Horace, 279 ; 

rewarded, 280 
.(Emilias, the Consul bribed by 

Caesar, vol. ii., 136 
Amauus, Cicero's campaign at the 

mountain range, vol. ii., 104 
"Amicitia, de," vol. ii., 305; Lajlius 

tells its praises, 382 
Amnesty, granted after Caesar's death, 

vol. ii., 216 ; Cicero's opinion 

respecting it, 258 
Anatomical researches, vol. ii., 361 
Antiochus of Comagene, Cicero 

pleads against, vol. ii., 51 
Antiphon, an actor, criticism on, vol. 

ii., 51 
Antonius Cains, Cicero's colleague in 

the Consulship, vol. i. , 220 ; not 

trusted, 222 ; was worth nothing, 
276; Cicero expects money from, 302 

Antonius Marcus, the orator, vol. i., 

Antony, abuse of, vol. i., 179 ; 
silenced by Cicero, 244 ; Cassius 
had desired his death, vol. ii., 212 ; 
forges Caesar's writing, 216 ; writes 
to Cicero, 220 ; Cicero desires to 
make him leave Italy, 228 ; desires 
Cicero to assist in the Senate, ibid. ; 
desires that Cicero's house shall be 
attacked, 230 ; determines to answer 
the first Philippic, 234 ; left no 
friend to speak for him, 236 ; his 
character by Paterculus, ibid. ; t 
same from Virgil, 237 ; how he 
sought favour with Caesar, 241 ; 
how he quarrelled with Dolabella, 
243 ; his letter to Hirtius, 267 ; 
wages war against four Consuls, 
270 ; one of the Triumvirate, 2 87 

Appius Claudius, letter to, vol. ii., 
90 ; runs away from Cicero, 99 ; 
takes away three cohorts, 100 ; 
sends ambassadors to Rome to 
praise him, 101 ; his dishonesty, 
132 ; twice tried, ibid. ; Censor, 

Apronius, who he was and his 
character, vol. i., 181 

Arabarches, nickname for Pompey, 
vol. i., 352 

Aratus, the Phaenomena translated, 
vol. i., 48 ; the Prognostics trans- 
lated, 334 ; vol. ii., 360 

Arbuscula, the actress, vol. ii. , 51 

Archias, Cicero's tutor, vol. i., 50; 
Cicero's speech, 304 

Ariobarzanes, in debt to Pompey and 
Brutus, vol. ii., 117 

Army, Cicero joins it, vol. i., 51 



Arpinum, Cicero's birthplace, vol. ?'., 

Asconius Pedianus, commentator of 
Cicero, vol. i., 215 ; declares that 
Cicero had accused Crassus of 
joining Catiline, 262 ; tells the 
story of Mile's trial, vol. ii., 67 

Asia, Cicero travels in, vol. i., 61 

Asians, the character given them by 
Cicero, vol. i., 357 

" Assectatores," who they were, vol. 
i., 129 

Athens, Cicero is afraid to live there, 
vol. i., 391 ; Cicero's description of, 
vol. ii., 351 

Atticus, letters, private, vol. i., 4, 7, 
9, 12 ; Cicero's faith in, 16 ; gene- 
ral letters, 63 ; his character, 64, 
187, 218 ; Cicero informs him as to 
Clodius, 308 ; and of his speech 
in'Pompey's favour, 312 ; did not 
quarrel with Cicero, 366 ; Cicero 
complains of his conduct and he 
apologises, 386 ; lends money to 
Cicero, 391 ; no letter of his ex- 
tant, vol. ii., 164 ; receives a com- 
mission to see Cicero's debts paid, 
225 ; Cicero's last letter to, 247 

Augurs, College of, vol. ii., 64 

Augustus, devoid of scruple, vol. i., 
87 ; born in the Consulship of 
Cicero, vol. i., 288 

Augustine, has produced a fragment 
of the "De Republica," vol.-ii., 374 

Aulns Gellius, tells a story of 
Cicero's house, vol. i., 300 

Aurelia, Via, Catiline had left the 
city by that roiite, vol. i., 275 

Autronius, selected_>Consul, vol. i., 
257, 305 


BACON, compared to Cicero, vol. 
ii., 116 

Balbus, messenger from Caesar to 
Cicero, vol. i., 325 ; his citizenship 
defended, vol. ii., 34 ; his descen- 
dant Emperor, 35 

Battle of the eagle and the serpent, 
vol. i., 49 

Beesley, Mr. as to Catiline, vol. i., 

Bibulus as Consul, vol. i., 340 

Birria stabs Clodius, vol. ii., 69 ' 

Boasting, habit of the Romans, vol. i., 

Boissier Gaston, his book on Cicero, 
vol. ii., 35 

Bona Dea, her mysteries violated, 
vol. i., 307 

Bovilla, at, Milo meets Clodius, vol. 
ii., 69 

Brennus, when at Rome, vol. i., 85 

Broiigham, Lord, as to " Memnon," 
a tale, vol. i., 48 

Brundisium, Cicero lands at on his 
return from exile, vol. ii., 51 ; 
Cicero's misery at, 168 

Brutus, proposes to make a speech in 
behalf of Milo, vol. ii., 73 ; his 
usury, 110 ; the story of his debt 
in Cilicia, 113 ; Cicero's opinion, 
119 ; letters from, 165 ; how he 
should be judged for the murder of 
Caesar, 207 ; his character, 215 ; 
no aptitude for ruling, ibid. ; Ci- 
cero meets him at Velia, 226 ; his 
manners to Cicero, 227 ; praised, 

259 ; correspondence with, doubted, 

260 ; an honest patriot, 274 ; will 
not assist Cicero, 284 ; Cicero's re- 
spect for, 328 

"Brutus," The, 304; "Brutus," or 

De Claris Oratoribus, 321 
Brutus, Decimus, letters from, vol.'ii., 

165 ; preparing to tight, 248 ; 

deficient as a general, 275 ; is slain, 

Buthrotum, Atticus writes to Cicero 

respecting, vol. ii., 221 


CECILIA METELLA, her tomb, vol. ii., 

Caecilius, put up to plead against 

Verres, vol. i., 154 ; ridiculed as to 

his insufficiency, 159 
Caecina, Cicero's speech for, vol. i., 194 
Cffilius, one of the young bloods of 

Rome, vol. i., 37; his character, vol. 

ii., 35 ; one of Clodia's lovers, 36 ; 

defended by Cicero, 37 ; harangues 

the people for Milo, 71 ; scolded 

for the folly of his letters, 6 ; 



asks for panthers, 97 ; style of his 
letters, 102 ; attached to Cicero, 
103 ; letters from, 165 

Cselius, C. left in charge of Cilicia, 
vol. ii., 124 

Caeparius, one of Catiline's con- 
spirators, vol. i., 279 

Caerellia, her name mentioned, vol. ii. , 

Caesar, devoid of scruple, vol. i., 87 ; 
his debts, 119 ; his cruelty, 120 ; 
Cicero's treatment of, 179 ; passing 
the Rubicon, 209 ; did he join the 
conspiracy of Catiline, 259 ; in 
debt, ibid. ; his prospects, 260 ; 
no ground for accusing him as to 
second conspiracy, 264 ; his opinion 
of Cicero, ibid. ; attempt to murder 
as he left the Senate, ibid. ; present 
at the first Catiline oration, 271 ; 
speech as to Catiline, 284 ; his 
career commenced, 291 ; did not 
think of overthrowing the Republic, 
292 ; had not thought of ruling 
Rome, 314; money nothing to him, 
320 ; his general character, 321 ; 
his first Consulship, 340 ; ille- 
gality of his actions, 342 ; has the 
two Gauls allotted to him, 343 ; 
endeavours to screen Cicero, 353 ; 
naturally a conspirator, vol. ii., 
17 ; defence of his Proconsular 
power, 28, 29, 30 ; his doings in 
Gaul, 31 ; Cicero's conduct in re- 
ference to, 32 ; why Cicero flat- 
tered him, 33 ; intends to rule the 
Empire, 40 ; crosses into Britain, 
62 ; money due to him by Cicero, 94 ; 
returns the two legions, 136 ; sits 
down at the Rubicon, 137 ; tramples 
on all the laws, 138 ; Cicero ex- 
cuses his letter to, 1 4 3 ; his clemency 
to Romans, 161 ; absence of re- 
venge, ibid. does not allow Cicero 
to sell his property, 162 ; is mag- 
nificent, 163 ; sits as judge, 182 ; 
returns to Spain, 186 ; returns from 
Spain, 192 ; is likened to Romulus, 
193 : his five triumphs, ibid. ; is 
flattered by Cicero, 197 ; sups with 
Cicero, 200 ; his death, 205 ; his 
assassination esteemed a glorious 
deed, 209 ; Cicero present, 211 ; 
an altar put up to, 221 ; his laws 
to be sanctioned, 231 

Calenus, talks of peace, vol. ii., 257 ; 
attacked by Cicero, 259 

Caninius, Consul for a few hours, vol. 
ii., 205 

Capitol, description of, vol. ii., 214 ; 
Brutus retires to, ibid. 

Cappadocian slaves, vol. ii., 117 

Cassius ; Cicero says that he would not 
obey the Senate, vol. ii., 264 ; will 
not assist Cicero, 284 

Castor, the temple of, in the trial of 
Verres, vol. i., 168 

Castor, accuses his grandfather Deio- 
tarus, vol. ii., 196 

Catiline, one of Sulla's murderers, 
vol. i., 87 ; Cicero opposed to for 
Consulship, 126, 218 ; Cicero does 
not defend him, 218 ; the Catiline 
speeches described by Cicero, 228 ; 
a popular hero, 246 ; a step between 
the Gracchi and Caesar, 249 ; Mr. 
Bee.sley's opinion as to his high 
birth, 253 ; and courage, ibid. ; his 
real character, 254 ; not elected 
Consul, 257 ; second conspiracy, 
263 ; accused by Lepidus, 267 ; he 
leaves the city, 274 ; third speech 
against, 276 ; fourth speech against, 
283 ; he dies, 288 

Cato, accuses Murena, vol. i., 230 ; 
his stoicism laughed at, 231 : speech 
as to Catiline, 237 ; opposed Clo- 
dius, 309 ; keeping gladiators, vol. 
ii., 21 ; opposes Cicero's request 
fora "supplication," 122 ; hisdeath, 
174 ; Cicero praises him, 175 ; a 
glutton with books, 348 ; his 
suicide defended, 386 

Cato the elder, praise of, vol. ii., 
373, 374 

Catullus, his epigram on Caesar and 
Mamurra, vol. ii., 202 

Caudine Forks, vol. i., 85 

" Cedent arma tog;?," an impotent 
scream, vol. i., 72 

Cethegus, one of Catiline's conspira- 
tors, vol. i., 279 

Chesterfield, Lord, his advice to his 
son, vol. ii., 387 

Christian, Cicero almost one, vol. ii., 

Christina, Queen, on Cicero, vol. i., 

Chrysogonus, creature of Sulla's, vol. 
i., 96, 98, 103, 106 



Churches, rules complied with for the 
sake of example, vol. ii., 363 

Cicero, young Marcus, wishes to serve 
under Caesar, vol. ii., 186 ; money 
allowed for living at Athens, 187 ; 
does not do well, 188 

Cilicia, governed for a year, vol. ii., 
2 ; Cicero's mode of government, 
87 ; why undertaken, ibid. ; 
Cicero's government had cost no 
man a shilling, 97 
" Cincia Lex de Muneribus," vol. 
i., 115 

Cispius, defended, vol. ii., 49 
" Civis Roman us," his privileges, vol. 
i., 187 

Claterna, taken by Hirtius, vol. ii., 

Claudian, family desecrated by Clo- 
dius, vol. i., 381 

Clodia, her character, vol. i., 384 

Clodius, Cicero's language to, vol. i., 
222 ; accuses Catiline, 256 ; in- 
trudes on the mysteries of the 
Bona Dea, 307 ; acquitted, 310 ; 
quarrels with Cicero, ibid.; Cicero's 
speech against, 316 ; his Tribunate, 
327 ; favoured by Caesar and Pom- 
pey, 328 ; is made a Plebeian, 
330 ; prepares to attack Cicero, 
377 ; had put up a statue of a 
Greek prostitute as a figure of 
liberty, vol. ii., 18 ; slaughtered, 
69 ; his mode of travelling about, 

Cluentius Aulus, speech on his behalf, 
vol. i., 213 ; work in defending im- 
mense, 225 

luvius, leaves Cicero a property, vol. 
ii., 218 

" Conors," Cicero, in anger, so calls 
his suite, vol. ii., 124 

College of priests, oration spoken 
before, vol. ii., 17 

" Commentarium " of Caelius, vol. ii., 

Conduct, Cicero's, asgovernor,w>Z. ii., 

Conservative, Cicero was one, vol. i. , 

Consolation, Cicero complains that 
nothing is of use, vol. ii., 190 

Consular speeches, twelve, vol. i., 226 

"Consulatu de suo," Cicero quotes 
his own poem, vol. i., 326 

"Consulatus de petitione/'-yoZ.i., 125 

Consuls and other officers reconformed 
by Sulla, vol. i., 88 ; the manner 
in which they were selected, 220 ; 
their duties, 223 ; never two bad 

>i Consuls together, vol. ii., 10; Cicero 
asks them to praise him, 107 ; are 
they to be sent out of Italy ? 262 

Cornelius, a Knight employed to kill 
Cicero, vol. i., 268 

Cornelius Caius, speech on his behalf, 
vol. i., 214 

Cornelius Nepos, on Cicero, vol. i., 
10 ; his sayings as to Cicero's 
letters, 197 

Cotta, Lucius Aurelius. elected 
Consul vol. i. , 257 

Cotta, the orator, Cicero knew him 
in his youth, vol. i. 45 

Courage, as to the nature of, vol. i., 
362 ; shewn in the Philippics, vol. 
ii., 239 

Cowardice, Cicero accused of, vol. ii., 
265 ; the charge repelled, 297 

Crassus, noted for usury, vol. i., 117 ; 
did he join Catiline ? 259 ; like 
M. Poirier, 260 ; present at first 
Catiline oration, 271 ; belauds 
Cicero in the Senate, 311 ; one of 
the Triumvirate, 321 ; says a man 
cannot be rich unless he can keep 
an army in his pay, 382 ; de- 
stroyed in Parthia, vol. ii., 63 

Crassus, Lucius, the orator, vol. i., 
44 ; his death, vol. ii., 318 

Curio the elder, Cicero's lampoon, 
vol. i., 398 

Curio and Claudius, speech against, 
vol. i., 316 

Curio bribed by Caesar, vol. ii., 136 ; 
intimate with Antony, 241 

Curius, betrays Catiline's conspiracy, 
vol. i., 267 

Cybea, the ship built for Verres by 
the Mamertines, vol. i., 183 


DATES, as to those to be used, vol. i., 

Death, endured bravely by Cicero, 

vol. i., 360 
Decemviri, to be appointed under the 

law of Ktillus, vol. i., 237 



" Decumanum," tithe on corn in 

Sicily, vol. i., 179 
" Deductores," who they were, vol. i., 

Deiotarus, Cicero pleads for, vol. ii., 

Democrat, Cicero wrongly called, 

vol. i., 368 
De Quincey, his opinion of Cicero, 

vol. i., 16 ; his anger against 

Middle ton, vol. ii., 125 
Deserter, in politics, Cicero defended 

from the accusation, vol. i., 369 
Despotism, personal ill effects of, vol. 

i., 375 
Dio, persecuted in the trial of Verres, 

vol. i., 170 
Dio Cassius, as to Cicero, vol. i., 14 ; 

as to Cicero's oath, '290 
Diodotus, Cicero studies with, vol. i., 

Dionysius, the Greek tutor, vol. ii., 

Dishonesty, the charge repelled as to 

Cicero, vol. ii., 297 
" Diversos, Ad," letters to, vol. i., 197 
"Divinatio, in Quintum Cscilium," 

vol. i., 154 

" Divinatione, De," vol. ii., 304, 362 
Divorces, common with Eomans, vol. 

ii., 169 

Doctrine, Cicero does not live accord- 
ing to his own, vol. ii., 354 
Dolabella, Cicero's pupil in oratory, 

vol. ii., 184 ; his cruelty, 222 
Dorotheus, an enemy of Sthenius, 

vol. i., 173 ; trial of Verres, 173 
Drusus, his gardens to be bought, 

vol. ii., 191 

Du Bos, Simon, vol. ii., 371 
Duty to the state, vol. ii , 386 
Dyrrachium, Cicero's protection of, 

vol. i., 116; sojourned there during 

his exile, 394 


EDUCATION, expense of, vol. i., 66 
Egypt, Cicero, asked by Caesar to go 

there, vol. i., 347 

Eleusinian, mysteries of, vol. i., 65 
Elizabeth, Queen, glory of her reign, 

vol. i., 86 
" Empturu," tax on corn, vol. i., 180 

Encyclopaedia Britannica, character of 
Cicero, vol. i., 6 

Ephesus, how Cicero was received 
there, vol. ii., 97 

Epicureans, vol. i., 64 

Epicurus, dying, vol. ii., 347 ; 
Cicero's peculiar dislike to, vol. ii., 

Epistles, number written by and to 
Cicero, vol. i. 63 ; the first we 
have, 197 ; do not deal with his- 
tory, 198 ; their truth, 199 ; Tiro 
had collected 70, vol. ii., 225 ; his 
last official and military, 279 

Eques, or knight, Cicero one, vol. i., 

Equites, vol. i., 149 ; their duties as 
taxgatherers, 337 

Equity, Cicero accused of trifling 
with, vol. ii., 115 

Erasmus, his opinion of Cicero, vol. 
i., 143 

Erucius, accuses Sextus Roscius, vol. 
i., 95, 99 

Eryx Mount, temple of Venus, vol. i., 

Exile, Cicero's, vol. i., 145, 359 ; 
sentence against Cicero, 390 ; at- 
tempt to bring him back, 399 ; did 
not write during, 400 


FAMINE, in Eome, vol. ii., 15 

" Fato, De," vol. ii., 304, 362, 368 

" Finibus, De," vol. i., 33; vol. ii., 

304, 345 
Fishponders, who they were, vol. ii., 

Flaccus, speech on behalf of, vol. i., 

Flavius, his goodness to Cicero when 

exiled, vol. i., 392 
Florus, as to Cicero, vol. i., 12 ; as 

to Catiline, 251 
Fonteius, Cicero's speech for, vol. i. 

193 ; purchase of a house, 202 
Fornianum, purchases for the villa, 

vol. i., 203 

Formine, Cicero killed at, vol. ii., 294 
Forsyth, Mr., vol. i., 1, 4 ; passage 

quoted, 16 ; defends the English 

bar, 257 ; as to Cicero's exile, 360 ; 

as to the story of Brutus, vol. ii. , 



113'; quoted as to the Philippics, 

Fortitude, Roman, vol. i., 395 

Froude, Mr., accuses Cicero of a desire 
for Caesar's death, vol. i., 4, 5; his 
sketch of Csesar, 69 ; hard things 
said of Cicero, 143 ; as to Cicero's 
exile, 360 ; gives his reason for 
Cicero's going to Cilicia, vol. ii., 87 

" Frumentaria, De Re," third speech 
on the Actio Secunda In Verrem, 
vol. i., 165 

Fulvia betrays Catiline's conspiracy, 
vol. i., 267 

Fulvia, widow of Clodius, exposes the 
body of Clodius, vol. ii., 70 


GABINIFS, A., abuse of, vol. i., 179 ; 
proposes law in favour of Pompey, 
204 ; Consul when Cicero was 
banished, 378 ; takes his shrubs, 
393 ; whether he shall be punished, 
vol. ii., 3 ; comes back to Rome 
and is defended by Cicero, 50 

Gabinius, P., one of Catiline's con- 
spirators, vol. i., 279 . 

Gain, the source of mean or noble, 
vol. ii., 388 

Gallus, Caninius, defended by Cicero, 
vol. ii., 49 

Gavins, P., a Roman citizen, vol. i., 

Gavins, Cicero's treatment of, vol. ii., 

Geography, Cicero thinks of writing 
about, vol. i., 348 

Getse, shall he bring them down on 
Rome, vol. ii., 144 

Glabrio, Prater at the trial of Verres, 
vol. i., 162 

" Gloria, De," translated, vol. ii., 226 

Godhead, Cicero's belief in, vol. ii., 
25, Cicero's ideas of, 359, 399 

Gracchi, the two, vol. i., 85 ; latest 
disciple of, 243 ; what they at- 
tempted, 259 

Graevius, arranged Cicero's letters, 
vol. i., 200 

Greece, Cicero travels in, vol. i., 61 

Gueroult, M., his enthusiasm for 
Cicero, vol. i., 304 


HEAVEN, Cicero's idea of, vol. ii., 396 

Hierosolymarius, nickname of Pom- 
pey, vol. i., 349 

Heius, Marcus, his story in the trial 
of Verres, vol. i., 183 

Helvia, Cicero s mother's story re- 
specting, vol. i., 43 

Heraclius, the story of, on the trial 
of Verres, vol. i., 171 

Herennius, killed Cicero, vol. ii., 295 

Hirtius on Cicero's side, vol. ii. , 251 ; 
killed, 268 

Historians, what they would say of 
Cicero, vol. i., 365 

Homer's verses of the Eagle and the 
Serpent, vol. i., 49 

Honest man, how he ought to live, 
vol. ii., 389 

" Honestum," what it means, vol. ii., 

Horace, his boasting, vol. i., 178 ; his 
treatment of women, 385 

Hortensius, on the trial of Verrep, 
vol. i., 151, 162, 191 ; comes to 
see Cicero as he leaves Rome, vol. ii., 

House, purchased on the Palatine 
Hill, vol. i., 301 ; the spot conse- 
crated by Clodius, vol. ii., 13 

Human race, Cicero's love for, vol. ii. , 

Hypsaeus, candidate for the Consul- 
ship, vol. ii. , 68 


" IMPERATOR," Cicero is named, vol. 

ii., 105 
Income, Cicero's amount of, vol. i., 

67, 113 
Insincerity of Cicero, vol. ii. 130 ; 

almost necessary, 131 ; Cicero's 

defended, 299 
Invective, bitterness of Cicero's, vol. 

i., 32 
"Inventione, De," vol. i., 54 ; four 

books remaining, vol. ii., 303, 307 


"JEWS," gold of their temple saved, 
vol. i., 358 



Jon son, Ben, his description of Cati- 
line, vol. i., 250, 268 

Journey into Greece, Cicero intends, 
vol. ii., 219 

Judges, how they sat with a Praetor, 
vol. i., 106 

Julia, Caesar's wife, dies, vol. ii., 63 

Jupiter Stator, Cicero's first speech 
against Catiline in the temple of, 
vol. i., 270 ; Cicero returns thanks 
for, in the temple, vol. ii., 8 

" Jurisdiction Siciliensi, De," vol. 
i., 165 

Juvenal, as to Cicero, vol. i., 11 ; as 
to Catiline, 251 


KILLING Roman citizens, Cicero to be 

charged with, vol. i., 356 
Kings, odious to Cicero as to all 

Romans, vol. ii., 208 

LABIENUS, an optimate, vol. i., 353 
La Harpe, his opinion of the " Pro 

Marcello," vol. ii., 178 
Laelius in the dialogue "De Repub- 

lica," vol. ii., 374 
Lanuvium, Milo returning from, vol. 

ii., 69 
Laodicea, Cicero as governor, vol. 

ii., 98 
Lawyers, Cicero ridicules them, vol. 

i., 232 
Leucopetra, Cicero landed at, vol. ii., 

Legacies, a source of income, vol. i., 

Legions, the, are Caesarian, vol. ii., 

"Legibus, De," vol. ii., 803; taken 

from Plato, 376 

Legation offered to Cicero, vol. i., 352 
Lentulus, Cn. Cornelius, letters to, 

vol. ii., 19 ; explaining his conduct, 

Lentulus, Publius Cornelius, one of 

Catiline's conspirators, vol. i., 279 ; 

is killed, 287 ; Cieero broke the 

law in regard to, 379 
Lepidus, his character, vol. ii., 252 ; 


recommended peace, 266 ; one of the 

Triumvirate, 290 
"Lex Porcia" forbidding death ojf 

Roman, vol. i., 285 
Liberty, Roman idea of, vol. i. t 24 
"Librarii," short-hand writers, vol. 

i., 226 
Ligarius, Cicero speaks for, vol. ii., 

Lilybaeum, Cicero Quaestor at, vol. i., 


Literature, Cicero's reason for de- 
voting himself to, vol. ii., 309 
Livy, as to Cicero, vol. i., 10 ; his 

evidence as to Catiline's conspiracy, 

261 ; his political tendencies, vol. 

ii., 372 
Long, Mr., his opinion of the "Pro 

Marcello," vol. ii., 178 
Lucan, as to Cicero, vol. i., 11 ; 

would have extolled him had he 

killed himself, 367 
Lucceius, Cicero applies to him for 

praise, vol. ii., 22 
Lucretius, the period at which he 

wrote, vol. i., 22 
Lucullus, absent in the East seven 

years, vol. i., 210 
" Lucullus," The, vol. ii., 342 


MACAULAY, Mr., his verdict as to 
Cicero's character, vol. i., 3 

Mai, Cardinal, his opinion of the 
" Pro Marcello," vol. ii., 179 

Mallius, lieutenant of Catiline, vol. i. , 
267; declared a public enemy, 276 

Mamertines, people of Messana, fa- 
vourites of Verres, vol. i., 183 

Manilla, Pro Lege, vol.i., 211; Ap- 
pendix D 

Manilius, his law in favour of Pom- 
pey, vol. i., 210 

Marcellus, had conquered Syracuse, 
vol. i., 185 

Marcellus, M. C., is Consul, vol. it., 
95 ; Hogs a citizen of Novocomuin, 
ibid. ; his enmity to Caesar, 176 ; 
Cicero speaks for him, 178 ; is mur- 
dered, 179 

Marcellus Uaius, Cicero congratulates 
him on his Consulship, vol. ii., 100 

Marius, born at Arpinum, vol. i., 41 ; 
E E 



origin of his quarrel with Sulla, 
"Marius," a poem by Cicero, vol. i., 

47 . 
Martia, Legio, character of, vol. ii., 249 

Martial, as to Cicero, vol. i. 11 
"Mendaciuncula," Cicero's use of, 

vol. i., 195 

Merivale, Dean, as to Cicero, vol. i.< 3; 
History of Rome, 69 ; as to Cati- 
line, 252 ; as to Cicero's exile, 359 
Metellus, Quintus, on the side of 
Verres, vol. i., 151, 162 ; the his- 
tory of the family, 299 ; Celer, his 
complaint against Cicero, vol. i., 
297 ; Nepos, forbids Cicero to 
speak on vacating the Consulship, 
vol. i., 290 

Middleton, his biography a bye-word 
for eulogy, vol. i., 142 ; quoted as 
to Clodius, 330 ; as to Cicero's 
exile, 359 ; censures Cicero for 
going into, 385 ; nature of his 
biography, vol. ii., 125 
Milo, gives public games, vol. ii., 
51 ; Cicero wishes him to be Consul, 
61 ; his trial, 65 ; accused of bring- 
ing a dagger into the senate, 72 ; 
demands protection, 73 ; con- 
demned, 75 ; his mode of travel- 
ling, 82 

Milone Pro, Cicero's oration, vol. i., 
57 ; specially admired, vol. ii., 66 ; 
not heard, 75 

Mithridates, Sulla sent against, vol. 
i., 53 ; Pompey has command 
against, 209 
Molo, Cicero studies with, vol. i., 54, 


Mommsen, his history, vol. i., 69 ; 
opinion of Rome, 80, 83 ; as to 
Caesar and Crassus, 262 ; as to 
Cicero's exile, 360 ; description of 
Rome during Cicero's exile, 398 ; 
deals hardly with Cicero, vol. ii., 
35 ; as to Cicero owing money to 
Cajsar, 94 ; his interpretation of 
Caesar's names, 206 ; tell us no- 
thing of Caesar's death, 212 ; his 
verdict as to Rome, 373 
Money, restored to Cicero for rebuild- 
ing his house, vol. ii., 19 
Montesquieu, as to Roman religion, 

vol. ii., 18 
Morabin, as to Cicero's exile, vol. i., 

359 ; doubts Cicero's presence at 
Caesar's death, vol. ii., 211 

Moral Essays, vol. ii., 370 

Mourning, Cicero assumes prior to 
his exile, vol. i., 383 

Munda, final battle of, vol. ii., 186 

Murena, Cicefo defended, vol. i., 228 ; 
accused of bribery, 229 ; and of 
dancing, 230 ; a soldier, 233 

Musical charm, of Cicero's language, 
vol. ii., 27 < 

Mutina, ambassadors sent to Antony 
before, vol. ii., 25*2 ; the battle, 
268 ; badly managed, 275 


NAMES, Roman, as to forms to be 

used, vol. i., 39 ; usual with Romans 

to have three, 42 
Nasica, his joke, vol. ii , 318 
"Natura Deorum, De," vol. ii., 304, 

322, 357 
" Nomenclatio," the meaning, vol. i., 


" Nonis Juliis," vol. ii., 224 
" Novus ante me nemo," vol. i., 



OCTAVITJS, comes to Rome, vol. ii., 
217; meets Cicero, i&.; quarrels 
with Antony, 245 ; feared by 
Cicero, 246 ; would he be Con- 
sul, 280 ; marches into Rome, 
281 ; his enmity to Cicero, 282 ; 
his insolence, 286 ; is reconciled to 
Antony, 287 ; the meeting in the 
island at Bologna, ib. ; his conduct, 
288 ; letter to him, supposed from 
Cicero, but a forgery, 290 

"Officiis, De," vol. ii., 247, 305; 
perfect treatise on morals, 383 

" fortunatam natam," vol. i., 333 

" Old Mortality," torture as there 
described, vol. i., 100 

Oppianicus, his life. vol. i., 214 

Oppius Publius, his trial, vol. i., 

Optimates, Pompey their leader, vol. 
i., 209 

" Optimo Genere Oratorum, De," vol. 
ii., 304, 320 



Orations, how Cicero treated his own, 

vol. ii., 199 
Oratiuncula, twelve consular speeches 

so called, vol. i. , 226 
"Orator," The, vol. ii.', 304 ; graced 

by the name of Brutus, 322 
"Oratore, De," Cicero's dialogues, 

vol. ii., 40 ; sent to Lentulus, 49, 

303, 310, 327 
"Oratoriae Parti tiones," vol. ii., 172, 

Oratory, Cicero's three modes of 

speaking, vol. i., 108 ; his charms, 

160 ; purposes of, vol. ii., 333 
Ornament, Greek taste for, vol. i., 182 
Otho's law, speech concerning, vol.i., 

227, 244 


PAGAN, Cicero one, vol. ii., 403 

"Palinodia," or recantation, by 
Cicero, vol. ii., 21 

Palatine Hill, Cicero's house destroy- 
ed, vol. i., 394 

Pansa, the Consul on Cicero's side, 
vol. ii., 251 ; slain, 268 

Paradoxes, the six, vol. ii., 172 

' 'Parti tiones oratories," vol. ii., 304 

Peel, Sir Robert, vol. i., 367 

Perfection, required in an orator, vol. 
ii., 311 ; Cicero fails in describing 
it, 312, 316 

Perfect orator, not desirable, vol. ii., 

Philippics, origin of the name, vol. 
ii., 230 ; the first, 231 ; the second 
not intended to be spoken or pub- 
lished, 237 ; commences with satire 
against Antony, 239 ; the third and 
fourth, 248; the fifth, 252; the 
sixth, 254 ; the seventh, 256 ; the 
eighth, 258 ; the ninth, ibid. ; the 
tenth, 259 ; the eleventh, 262 ; 
the twelfth, 265 ; the- thirteenth, 
268 ; the fourteenth, ibid. 

Philo, the academician, vol. i., 45 ; 
Cicero studies with, 54, 55 

Philodamus, and his daughter in the 
trial of Verres, vol. i., 166 

Philology, discu&sed with Caesar, vol. 
ii., 203 

Philosophy, Cicero's, nature of, vol. 
i., 33, 64 ; rumour that Cicero will 

devote himself to it, 111 ; Cicero 

did not believe in it, 231 ; devotes 

himself to it, vol. ii., 194 ; the 

nature of Cicero's treatises, 336 ; 

the nature of his feeling, 337 ; 

Greek laughed at by Cicero, ibid. ; 

not real with him, 339 ; apologises 

for, 388 
Philo tomus, freedmanof Terentia, vol. 

ii., 123 
Phsenomena, The, by Aratus, vol. i., 

Pindenissum, Cicero besieges, vol. ii., 

105 ; his letter to Cato respecting, 

Pirates, picked up by officers of 

Verres, vol. i., 189 ; commission 

given to Pompey against, 204 ; 

their power, 205 
Piso, abuse of, vol. i., 179 ; Consul 

when Cicero was banished, 378 ; 

Cicero appeals to him, 388 ; robs 

Cicero, 394; Cicero's speech against, 

vol. ii., 42 ; of high family, 43 ; 

becomes Censor, 44 ; speaks for 

Antony in the Senate, 265 
Piso, Calpurnus, Cicero defended, 

vol. i., 228 
Plancius, very kind to Cicero, vol. i., 

394 ; Cicero pleads for, vol. ii., 53 
Plancus, Lucius, letters from, vol. ii., 

165 ; Cicero writes to him, 254 ; 

may have been true, 275, 278, 283 
Plancus Munatius, Cicero's joy at 

his condemnation, vol. ii., 84 
Pliny, the elder, as to Cicero, vol. i., 

Plato, Cicero describes himself as a 

lover of, vol. ii. , 350 
Plutarch, as to Cicero, vol. i., 12 ; 

accuses him of running from Sulla's 

wrath, 62 

Poetry, Cicero as a poet, vol. i., 50 
Foetus, gave some books to Cicero, 

vol. i., 8 ; Cicero's correspondence 

with, vol. ii., 205 
Foetus, Cicero took his books, vol. ii., 

Political opinions, Cicero's, vol. i., 

59 ; definition made by Cicero, 

vol. ii., 27 
Pollio, may have been true, vol. ii., 

275, 282 
Pompeia, Caesar's wife divorced, vol. 

i., 308 



Pompeius, Strabo, father of Pompey 

the Great, vol. i., 53 
Pompey, the rising man, vol. i., 59 ; 
devoid of scruple, 87 ; appointed 
to put down the pirates, 204 ; his 
character, 206; how regarded by 
Csesar, 260 ; his intercourse with 
Csesar, 292 ; Cicero's letters to, 
294 ; chosen by him as his leader, 
297 ; called home to act against 
Catiline, 298 ; returns from the 
East, 311 ; his jealousy, 312 ; 
Mommsen's opinion, 313 ; one of 
the Triumvirate, 322 ; his marriage 
with Julia, 340 ; his ingratitude to 
Cicero, 346 ; his nicknames, 349, 
351, 352 ; promises to help Cicero 
against Clodius, 355 ; the story of 
Cicero kneeling to him, 389 ; 
Cicero forgives him, 396 ; offended 
by, Cicero's praise of himself, vol. 
ii., 11 ; commissioned to feed 
Rome, 16 ; Cicero to be his lieu- 
tenant, ibid. ; his games, Cicero's 
description of, 47 ; sole Consul, 
66 ; Dictator, 71 ; would be un- 
willing to bring back Clodius, 
82 ; claims money from Ariobar- 
zanes, 117 ; begins to attack Caesar, 
122 ; borrowed Cicero's money, 
129 ; Cicero clings to, 139 ; was 
murdered at the mouth of the 
Nile, 148 

Pomponia, her treatment of her hus- 
band Quintius, vol. ii., 90 

Pontius Glaucus, a poem, vol. i., 46. 

Popilius Lsenas, killed Cicero, vol. ii., 

Populace of Rome, condition of, vol. 
ii., 6 

Praetor, Cicero elected, vol. i., 204, 

" Prrstora urbana, De," first speech in 
the second action In Verrem, vol. 
i., 165 

Proconsul, his desire for provincial 
robbery, vol. i., 114 

Property, redistribution of, vol. i. t 

Provinces, the struggle for, vol. ii.,247 

Pseudo-Ascanius, commentaries on 
the Verrine orations, vol. i., 215 

Publicani, their duties, vol. i., 337 

Publilia, married to Cicero, vol. ii., 

Publius Quintius, speech on his 
behalf, vol. i., 90 

Punic wars, the, vol. i., 85 

Puteoli, at, the story he tells of him- 
self, vol. i^ 139 


QTLESTOR, Cicero elected, vol. i., 123 ; 
his character in regard to the Pro- 
consul with whom he acted, 155 

Quintilian, ~as to Cicero, vol. 
i., 12, 217, 271 ; as to Cicero's 
education, 61 ; eays that Cicero's 
speeches were arranged by Tiro, 
1 09 ; description of bar oratory, 
110 ; accuses Cicero of running 
into iambics, vol. ii., 45 ; his 
opinion of the " Pro Milone," 66 ; 
" Pro Cluentio," 67 ; cases given 
by him, 308 ; his description of 
an orator's voice, 334 

Quintus Cicero (the elder), vol. i., 43 ; 
service in Saul, 68 ; his character, 
201 ; sent out as Pro-Prsstor, 
317 ; his brother's letter to him, 
334 : affecting letter to, 396 ; 
speaks ill of his brother to Csesar, 
vol. ii., 163; and his son, are 
killed, 294 

Quintus Cicero (the younger) wishes 
to go to the Parthian war, vol. ii., 
194 ; declares his repentance, 223 ; 
had been Antony's "right hand," 
ibid. ; his fate, 224 ; his hypo- 
crisy and the vanity of Cicero, 

Quirites, their mode of living, vol. i., 


RABIIUTJS, Cicero defends, vol. i., 

Rabirius Postumus, Cicero defends, 
vol. ii., 58 

Raillery, not good at the Roman bar, 
vol. ii., 317 

Reate, Cicero speaks for the inhabi- 
tants, vol. ii., 51 

Religion, Cicero's, vol. ii., 392 

Republic, Cicero swears that he has 
saved it, vol. i., 290 ; Cicero's 
guiding principle, 375 ; held fast 



by the idea of preserving it, 376 ; 
as conceived by Cicero, vol. ii., 274 

"Republica De," Cicero's treatise, 
vol. ii., 40, 303 ; six books, 371 

Republican form of government, 
popular, vol. i., 316 

Retail trade, base, vol. i., 117 

"Rhetocorum," four books addressed 
to Herennius, vol. i., 54., vol. ii., 

"Rhetores," their mode of tuition, 
vol. i., 56 

Rhythm, Cicero's lessons too fine for 
our ears, vol. ii., 329 

Rome, falling into anarchy, vol. i., 
53 ; how she recovered herself, vol. 
ii., 245 

Romans, the, had no religion, vol. ii., 

Roman citizens, their mode of life, 
vol. i., 381 

Roscius, the actor, Cicero pleads on 
his behalf, vol. i., 121 

Roscius, Titus Capito, vol. i., 96, 102 
,, ,, Magnus, vol. i., 96, 

Rosoir Du, M., his testimony as to 
Cicero, vol. i., 148 ; his accusa- 
tions against, 212 ; as to Cicero's 
exile, 359 ; his accusations^ vol. ii., 
210 ; accuses Cicero of cowardice, 

Rubicon, the passage of, vol. i,, 145 ; 
vol. ii., 140 

Ruined man, Cicero returns from 
exile as, vol. ii., 12 

Rullus, brings in Agrarian laws, vol. 
i., 234 ; his father-in-law had ac- 
quired property under Sulla, 236 ; 
ridiculed for being "sordidatus," 
238 ; spoken of in the Senate, 

"SAGA," when worn, vol. ii., 269 
Salaminians, agree to be guided by 

Cicero, vol. ii., 114 
Sallust, as to Cicero, vol. i., 13 ; as 

to Catiline, 222, 251, 264; his 

story not conflicting with Cicero's, 

265, 273 
" Salutatores," who they were, vol. 

i., 129 

Sampsiceramus, nickname for Pom- 

pey, vol. i., 351 
Sappho, the statue of, by Silanion, vol. 

i., 185 

Sassia, her life, vol. i., 214 
Saufeius, twice acquitted, vol. ii., 76 
Scaevola Quintus, instructed Cicero, 

vol. i., 45 
Scaptius, the story of, vol. ii., 108 ; 

agent of Brutus in getting his 

debts paid, 118 
Scipio the great, gives the idea of 

Roman power, vol. i., 85 
Scipio, the younger, in the dialogue 

" de Republica, " vol. ii., 374 ; -his 

dream, 375 ; translated, 407 
Scipio, Q, Metellus, candidate for 

the Consulship, vol. ii., 68 
Sempronia, accused by Sallust of 

dancing too well, vol. i. , 230 ; 

Catiline's plot carried on at her 

house, 277 
Sempronia Lex, declares that a Roman 

should not be put to death, vol. i., 

Senate, their honours, vol. i., 134 ; 

their disgrace, 135 ; pass a vote 

that they will go into mourning 

for Cicero, 387; Cicero's presence 

demanded in, vol. ii., 227 
Senate House, scene described in a 

letter to Quintus, vol. ii., 20; is 

burnt. 70 ; archives destroyed, 79 
"Senectute, de," vol. ii., 305; Cato 

tells its praises, vol. ii., 380 
Serviliua, compliment paid to, at the 

trial of Verres, vol. i., 163 
Serving his fellow-creatures, Cicero's 

way of doing, vol, ii., 366 
Sextius, letter to, as to borrowing 

money, vol. i., 300; defence of, 

vol. ii., 25 ; Cicero's gratitude to, 


Sextus Roscius Amerinus, vol. i., 90 
Shakespeare, his conception correct 

as to Caesar's death, vol. ii., 207 
Shelley, version of the Eagle and the 

Serpent, vol. i., 49 
Shorthand writing, the system of, 

vol. i., 226 
Sicilians invite Cicero to take their 

part against Verres, vol. i., 137 ; 

their wishes for his assistance, 157 
Sicily divi'led into two provinces, 

vol. i., 132 



"Signis, De," fourth speech at the 
second action In Verrem, vol. i., 

Slaves, tortured to obtain evidence, 
vol. i., 100 

Solitude, he had not strength to ex- 
ercise, vol. ii., 390 

Soothsayers, appeal made to them as 
to Cicero, vol. ii. , 24 

Soothsaying, vol. ii., 365 

"Sordidatus," Cicero's dress before 
going into exile, vol. i., 365 

Speeches made by Cicero on his return 
from exile, vol. ii. , 4 ; question 
whether they be genuine, 5 

States,' Italian, jealousy of, leading to 
first civil war, vol. i., 52 

Statilius, one of Catiline's conspira- 
tors, vol. i., 279 

Statutes, purchase of, vol. i., 203 

Stenography, the Eoman system, vol. 
i., 226 

Sthenius, his trial, vol. i., 147, 

Suetonius, accuses Caesar of joining 
Catiline,, vol. i., 261 ; character 
of Ctesar, 329 

Sulla, Cicero served with, vol. i., 53 ; 
declared dictator, 59 ; Cicero on 
Sulla's side in politics, 60 ; goes 
to the East, 74 ; his massacres, 75 ; 
reorganises the law, 77 ; his resig- 
nation, 78 ; attacked by Cicero, 

Sulla, P. elected Consul, vol. i., 257 ; 
Cicero's speech for, 304 

Sulpicius Publius, the orator, vol. 
i., 45 

Sulpicius Servius, laughed at as an 
orator, vol. i., 232 ; one of the 
ambassadors dies on his journey, 
vol. ii., 255 

Superstitions of old Rome, vol. ii., 

"Supplicatio," decreed to.Cicero, vol. 
i., 280 ; nature of, vol. ii., 121 ; 
granted for Mutina for fifty days, 

"Suppliciis, de," fifth speech in the 
second action "In Verrem," vol. 
i,, 166 

" Symphoniacos homines," vol. i., 

Syracuse, robberies of Verres, vol. i., 


TABLETS of wax, used by judges, vol. 

i., 106 
Tacitus, as to Cicero, vol. i., 11 ; 

" De Oratoribus," 54 
Terentia, Cicero's wife, vol. i., 112 ; 

Cicero's affection for, 392 ; as to 

the divorce, vol. i., 123 ; his 

style to is changed, 134 ; Cicero 

in a sad condition as to, 162 ; 

divorced, 171, 183 
Teucris, nickname for Antony, 

Cicero's colleague, vol. i., 302 
Thapsus, battle of, vol. ii., 174 
Thessalonica, Cicero's sojourn there 

during his exile, vol. i., 394 
Tiro, Cicero's slave and secretary, 

vol. i., 43 ; Cicero's affectionate 

letters to, vol. M., 140 ; Cicero 

writes to, respecting Antony, 220 
Toga virilis, Cicero assumes it, vol. 

i., 51 
"Topica," The, prepared for Treba^ 

tius, vol. ii., 226, 305 ; taken from 

Aristotle, 331 
Torquatus, elected Consul,' vol. i., 

Torquatus, young, attacks Cicero, 

vol. i., 306 
Translating, Roman feeling in doing 

it, vol. ii., 305 
Travels, gives his own reasons for 

going to Greece and Asia, vol. i., 

Trebatius, confided to Caesar, vol. i. , 

68 ; recommends him to Caesar, 

vol. ii., 52 
Trebonius, massacred by Dolabella, 

vol. ii., 262 
Tribunate, Cicero's defence of, vol. 

ii., 379 
' ' Trienium fere fuit urbssinearmis," 

vol. i., 74 
Triumph, Cicero applies for, vol. ii. , 

120 ; nature of, ibid. ; the cause of 

trouble to him, 135, 140 
Triumvirate, the first, vol. i. t 318 ; 

not mentioned by Mommsen, 319 ; 

description by Horace, ibid.; not 

so known, 323 
Tubero, accuses Ligarins, vol. ii., 

181 ; Cicero refuses to alter his 

speech, 183 
Tullia, Cicero's daughter, vol. i. t 



122, 202 ; betrothed to Caius Piso, 
203 ; meets Cicero at Brundisium, 
vol. ii., 6 ; she is a widow, ibid. ; 
divorced from Crassipes, 64 ; 
marries Dolabella for her third 
husband, 129 ; Cicero had desired 
that she should marry Tiberius 
Nero, ibid. ; calls her the light of 
his life, 134 ; dies, 188 ; her pro- 
posed monument, 191 

Tullius, Marcus Decula, defended by 
Cicero, vol. i., 143 

"Tusculanae Disputationes," vol. i., 
33 ; vol. ii., 304, 354 ; their five 
heads, 356 

Tusculan Villa, gives commission 
for purchase of statues, vol. i., 

Tusculum, Dialogue de Oratore held 
there, vol. ii., 313 

Twenty-six years old when Cicero 
pleaded his first cause, vol. i., 

Tyranny, in the Senate, Cicero charged 
with, vol. ii., 81 

Tyrrell, Mr., arrangement of Cicero's 
letters, vol. i., 201 ; doubts thrown 
on a letter to Atticus, 228 

USURY, base, vol. i., 117 

Vargunteius, a knight employed to 

kill Cicero, vol. i., 268 
Varro, the period at which he wrote, 

vol. i., 22 
Vatinius, speech against, vol. ii., 

27 ; Cicero defends, 52 
Velleius Paterculus, as to Cicero, 

vol. i., 10 ; as to Catiline, 251 
Veneti, Caesar's treatment of, vol. 

ii., 198 
Vercingetorix, conquered at Alesia, 

vol. ii., 85 

Verres, his trial, vol. i., 145 ; Go- 
vernor for three years, 147 ; retires 

into exile, 165 ; standard bearer to 

Hortensius, 175 ; fined and sent 

into exile, 191 
Vibo, to Velia, Cicero's journey in a 

small boat, vol. i., 162 
Vigintiviratus, offered to Cicero, 

vol. i., 7 ; Cicero repudiates, 348 
Vindemiolae, the way Cicero expends 

them, vol. i., 203 
Virgil, Cicero intended by, vol. i., 

10 ; his version of the Eagle and 

the Serpent, 49 ; his boasting, 

178 ; his allusion to Cicero, 243 ; 

description of Catiline, 251 
Volcatius, does not speak for Mar- 

cellus, vol. ii., 77 
Voltaire, version of the Eagle and the 

Serpent, vol. i., 49 ; description 

of Catiline, 250 


"VALERIUS Maximus," as to Cati- 
line, vol. i., 250 

Valerius, Cicero stays at his villa, 
vol. ii., 227 

Varenus, his trial, vol. i., 147 


WOLF, his criticism on the "Pro 

Marcello," vol. ii., ]98 
Work, the amount of, done by Cicero, 

vol. ii., 144 





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